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Murder suspect held on $2 million bail

Justin Welch

Waukesha – Under tight security, Justin P. Welch appeared in Waukesha County Circuit Court for allegedly killing a City of Oconomowoc woman Oct. 1.

Court Commissioner Martin Binn set bail at $2 million for Welch, 26, who is accused of killing Kimberly Smith, 39, in her home.

Welch was captured Jan. 13 in Oklahoma after he escaped in Arkansas while being transported from San Diego, Calif. Prosecutors say DNA from Welch was found on the knife that is believed to be the murder weapon and rubber gloves.

Smith’s former boyfriend and the father of her son, Darren Wold, 41, of Texas, is accused of hiring Welch, through his friend Jack E. Johnson, 65, of Mexico.

Binn called the murder of Smith “violent and gruesome.” He set the high amount for bail because Welch fled officers in Mexico and escaped security personnel in Arkansas that was extraditing him to Wisconsin. Those actions, Binn said, "cry out for a high bail.”

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