The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

March 26 hearing set in Valliere murder cases


March 13, 2018


Hurley — The fifth suspect in the murder of a Lac du Flambeau, Wis., man late last year near Mercer had a $1 million cash bond set Monday morning in Iron County Court.

Curtis A. Wolfe, 26, of Lac du Flambeau, and four other men are charged with first-degree intentional homicide and hiding a corpse in the death of Wayne M. Valliere Jr., of Lac du Flambeau.

Wolfe’s attorney, Fred Bourg, appearing by speaker phone, argued Monday that Wolfe is indigent and $1 million bond would be excessive. “One million dollars alarms people,” Bourg said.

Iron County Judge Patrick Madden set the bond consistent with the other four defendants, however.

Assistant Attorney General Richard Dufour cited the serious nature of the charges in supporting the $1 million cash bond.

Bourg said his client was prepared to enter a mute plea, but it was not acted on by the court, pending a March 26 hearing.

Wolfe is not allowed to have contact with the other defendants, nor the victim’s family, as part of bond conditions.

Wolfe waived the requirement for a speedy preliminary hearing.

A March 26, 8:30 a.m. joint court status conference is set in the cases against the five men.

Valliere was beaten and shot to death on Dec. 22. He was reported missing to Lac du Flambeau police on Christmas Day, with the body found on New Year’s day.

James Lussier, 19, of Woodruff; Joseph D. Lussier, 26, of Lac du Flambeau; Richard F.A. Allen, 27, of Lac du Flambeau, and Evan T. Oungst, 27, of Arbor Vitae, appeared in Iron County Court last Monday.

In a related development, a hearing on a motion to sever the charges against Oungst from the other defendants has been delayed.

Dufour contended it was not a timely motion and Oungst’s attorney, Mary Margaret Hogan, said she had no objection to delaying the hearing until after arraignment.

Madden said he will take the motion under consideration later.

Hogan addressed the judge regarding what she called “threatening statements” against her client, saying they could taint a potential jury pool.

Madden said the jury audience of about 15 that was present Monday had conducted itself with “dignity and decorum.” He said he has been sitting on the bench for more than 30 years and, “I’m not going to accept any nonsense from anybody.”

At Oungst’s initial appearance by a videoconference set-up, there was loud applause from the courtroom audience when Madden set bail at $1 million.

Some vulgarities were directed at other defendants on March 5 as they were escorted from the courtroom after their initial appearances.


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