The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Iron County murder case headed toward trial


May 1, 2019


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Hurley — The case of one of the defendants charged in connection to the killing of a Lac du Flambeau man north of Mercer appears to be headed toward a trial.

A December trial date was set Tuesday after Iron County Judge Patrick Madden heard a motion laying out the state’s final settlement offer to Curtis Wolfe, 27, for his alleged role in the death of Wayne M. Valliere Jr., whose body was found Jan. 1, 2018, in the Mercer area.

The five-day trial is scheduled to begin Dec. 9, with a hearing Nov. 14 for any motions needing to be addressed prior to trial.

Under the offer detailed in court Tuesday, the state of Wisconsin would have filed amended charges in the case and Wolfe would have pleaded guilty to four counts — being a party to the crime of felony murder, being a party to the crime of hiding a corpse and two counts of being a party to the crime of aiding a felon.

The offer reduced the most serious charge Wolfe faces from being a party to the crime of 1st degree intentional homicide. He is also charged with being the party to a crime of hiding a corpse.

Wolfe was one of five men charged in connection to the beating and shooting death of Valliere.

Prosecutors say the five men took Valliere for a drug-fueled drive and shot him on Dec. 22, 2017, depositing the body off a seldom-used road north of Mercer.

The body was recovered behind a berm, hidden off Swamp Creek Road, near the end of Moose Lake Road.

Three of Wolfe’s co-defendants have already been sentenced for their roles in the crime.

Joseph Lussier, 28, of Lac du Flambeau, and Richard Allen, 28, of Lac du Flambeau, were sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole in August after a jury found them guilty of being the two shooters.

Lussier’s brother — James Lussier, 20, of Arbor Vitae, — was sentenced in January to 15 years in prison and another 15 years of extended supervision, along with another eight years of probation to be served after the first sentence for his role in the killing.

Another defendant — Evan T. Oungst, 29, of Arbor Vitae — is scheduled to have a plea hearing Monday on the charges he faces in the case.


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