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James Lussier pleads guilty in Valliere shooting death


August 6, 2018


Hurley — With the murder trials of two men scheduled to begin today in Iron County Court, a third man charged in the death of Wayne M. Valliere Jr. has pleaded guilty.

James Lussier, 19, of Woodruff, entered guilty pleas late Thursday afternoon to being a party to the crime of felony murder and two counts of aiding a felon. He is scheduled for sentencing on Nov. 5 at 2 p.m. by Iron County Judge Patrick Madden.

Lussier is represented by Hurley attorney Marty Lipske, who entered into a plea agreement with Assistant Attorneys General Richard J. Dufour and Chad Verbeten.

Madden noted he did not have to accept the plea agreement, but said it was “well considered.”

The youth said he was not coerced into signing the agreement and pleaded guilty to the counts, with Madden accepting the guilty pleas.

Madden ordered a pre-sentence investigation, as requested by Lipske.

Meanwhile, jury selection for Richard F.A. Allen, 27, and Joseph D. Lussier, 26, both of Lac du Flambeau, was scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. today, with 85 people in the pool.

Allen and Joseph Lussier are charged as the shooters in the death of Valliere, whose body was found near Mercer on New Year’s day. Valliere, a Lac du Flambeau tribal member, is alleged to have been killed on Dec. 22.

Joseph Lussier and Allen are both charged with conspiracy to commit first-degree intentional homicide and being a party to hiding a corpse, along with other counts.

The trial for Allen and Joseph Lussier is scheduled for eight days, with today expected to be exclusively devoted to jury selection.

Also charged in the death are Evan T. Oungst, 27, of Arbor Vitae, and Curtis Wolfe, 26, of Lac du Flambeau.

According to the criminal complaint, Valliere was thought to be a drug informant by the five defendants, who took him for his last ride that day.


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