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May 25, 2018

2/13/2018 7:30:00 AM
Initial appearances set in Valliere murder case
Jamie Taylor

Four of the five men charged with the murder of a Lac du Flambeau man will make their initial court appearances in Iron County Circuit Court next month.

Richard F.A. Allen, 27, of Lac du Flambeau, Evan T. Oungst, 27, of Arbor Vitae, Curtis A. Wolfe, 26, of Lac du Flambeau and Joseph D. Lussier, 26, of Lac du Flambeau, will appear before Judge Patrick J. Madden on March 5 at 10:30 a.m. to answer to charges of conspiracy to commit first-degree intentional homicide (as a party to a crime and while armed with a dangerous weapon) and hiding a corpse (as a repeater and as party to a crime) in connection with the death of Wayne M. Valliere Jr., 25.

The fifth individual charged in Valliere Jr.'s death, James B. Lussier, 19, of Arbor Vitae, is not in custody, however there is an active warrant for his arrest issued by Vilas County Judge Neal Nielsen for failing to appear in court on related charge there.

According to the criminal complaints, investigators believe Valliere Jr. was killed during the early morning hours of Dec. 22 on Swamp Lake Road just north of Mercer.

The complaints state that some of the defendants told investigators Allen repeatedly flashed a handgun while the group was traveling by minivan to the Mercer area and Valliere Jr. was aware the men intended to kill him. The complaints also include statements from some of the defendants indicating they suspected Valliere Jr. was a confidential police informant.

According to complaints, when the vehicle stopped on Swamp Lake Road, Allen began to beat Valliere Jr. and then shot him in the face. At that point, Joseph Lussier took the same gun and shot Valliere several more times as he lay in the road, the complaints state. All five men then hid the body on the side of a berm just off the road. Oungst eventually led investigators to the body.

Forensic pathologist Dr. Michael Stier of the University of Wisconsin Hospital performed the autopsy and listed a preliminary cause of death as multiple gunshot wounds. The manner of death was homicide, he added.

In total, Dr. Stier identified eight gunshot wounds, two to the head and neck areas, two to the upper back, one to the lateral back, one to the mid-back, and two to the lower left back/buttock, the complaint states.

Investigators recovered a number of items from the scene including four 9mm shell casings, samples of blood-stained snow found in the roadway and the rear sight of a handgun, the complaint states.

Investigators also recovered the suspected murder weapon, a 9mm semi-automatic handgun missing its rear sight, wrapped in a red bandana, at the home of one of Wolfe's friends.

According to the complaint, Wolfe admitted to hiding the weapon at a friend's house.

The weapon had been reported stolen in a burglary in Oneida County, the complaint states.

In addition, a search warrant executed on Oungst's vehicle resulted in the recovery of a part of a box of ammunition of the same brand allegedly used in the murder, the complaint states.

Valliere Jr. was last seen alive Dec. 22 and was officially reported missing to the Lac du Flambeau police on Christmas Day. He subsequently became the subject of a missing persons investigation led by the Wisconsin Department of Justice's Department of Criminal Investigation (DCI), along with numerous other law enforcement agencies.

Investigators found his body on New Year's Day.

Jamie Taylor may be reached via email at jamie@rivernewsonline.com.

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