6/13/2019 7:27:00 AM Prosecution petitions for amendments to Wolfe charges before trial
Abigail Bostwick of the Lakeland Times
Prosecutors are preparing for a December jury trial for the last of five men to be charged in the murder of a Lac du Flambeau man more than a year ago.
Curtis Wolfe, 27, Lac du Flambeau, has yet to reach a plea agreement with the state and is set for a mid-December jury trial in Iron County Circuit Court before Judge Patrick Madden. Wolfe faces charges of first-degree intentional homicide with use of a dangerous weapon (as party to a crime), conspiracy and hiding a corpse as a habitual criminal(as party to a crime) in the death and concealment of Wayne Valliere, Jr., 25. Wolfe is represented by public defender Attorney Fred Bourg.
Originally handed the same charges as Wolfe were Evan Oungst, 29; Richard Allen, 28; Joseph Lussier, 28; and James Lussier, 20.
According to the petition to file amended information from the prosecutors, assistant attorneys general Richard Dufour and Chad Verbeten, the state is requesting a change to the first count for Wolfe, meaning it would now read first degree intentional homicide as party to a crime while armed with a dangerous weapon.
"... the change to add the general party to a crime language, rather than conspiracy, does not prejudice the defendant," the petition notes.
In the second charge, the petition asks for a change to the penalty section, as the state says it inadvertently used older language.
The petition notes the amendments will not prejudice Wolfe's rights, and he and his defense had six months from the filing to the jury trial to prepare.
In a motion filed by the prosecution, certain testimony has been requested to be excluded at trial.
Included in that would be that all witnesses are excluded throughout the trial with the exception of Wisconsin Department of Criminal Investigations (DCI) Special Agent Micheal Reimer, lead investigator in the Valliere case. Additional exceptions would be Valliere's mother, father and sister.
Additional requests include that both the prosecution and state can have seven objections to a juror and have alternates separate from the other jurors and public. Further, parties would be precluded from asking witnesses whether they have any prior convictions. However, should Wolfe testify, the state indicates 17 prior convictions of his would be applicable to consider.
Also, the defense would be precluded from introducing evidence of other acts of the victim or any witnesses. Both sides must follow the witness list and not call any new witnesses during trial.
Allen and Joseph Lussier were found guilty last August and have been sentenced to life in prison without parole.
James Lussier pled guilty to lesser charges of felony murder/battery as parties to a crime/conspiracy and two counts of harboring aiding a felony as party to a crime and is serving a 30- year prison sentence, 15 in incarceration, 15 on monitoring.
Most recently, Oungst pled guilty to amended charge of second degree reckless homicide as party to a crime and hiding a corpse as party to a crime. He awaits sentencing in September. Also as part of the plea agreement, he pled guilty to nine counts of harboring/aiding a felon as party to a crime and four counts of manufacture or deliver a prescription drug.
The Wolfe jury trial is on the court calendar for Dec. 9-15 with all motions required to be filed by both sides two weeks before. An all-day motion hearing will be held Nov. 14.
He is being held in the Iron County Jail on a $1 million cash bond.
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