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One trial in murder-for-hire case


Waukesha – There will be one trial in the murder-for-hire case that resulted in the brutal death of Kimberly Smith in her City of Oconomowoc home Oct. 1, 2009.

Waukesha County Circuit Court Judge James R. Kieffer ruled this morning that Darren Wold, 42, Jack E. Johnson, 66, and Justin P. Welch, 27, will be tried at the same time.

Kieffer ruled in favor of a prosecutor’s motion to join the cases for one trial and denied defense attorneys’ motions to sever the cases.

According to prosecutors, Wold, formerly of Waukesha, allegedly sent money to Johnson of Mexico, who in turn allegedly hired Welch, 27, of California, to kill Smith. All three men are charged with first-degree homicide. Gloves and a knife from Smith’s kitchen were found in a storm sewer near her Smith’s house. DNA and fingerprints linked Welch to the murder.

Wold is the former boyfriend of Smith and the father of her child. Wold is accused of sending money to Johnson who in turn bought plan tickets for Welch and sent him cash as well.

The trial is not expected to be held until summer or fall and may take up to five weeks.

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