GREEN BAY – Green Bay police say they have the man responsible for a murder earlier this year.
Police say Jeffrey Wickman, 49, of Green Bay killed Daniel Kuehl, 49, also of Green Bay back in May. Police revealed Tuesday how Kuehl died. According to the autopsy report, he was strangled.
Wickman is facing a first-degree intentional homicide charge, as well as burglary and firearm charges.
Kuehl's body was found by a friend in his Ashland Avenue home on Green Bay's near west side on May 10.
Police say Wickman broke in and, ultimately, it was the recovery of a gun stolen from Kuehl's home and DNA evidence found at the scene that led authorities to Wickman.
They made the announcement Tuesday during a news conference where members of Kuehl's family were present. However, they did not wish to speak with the media.
Wickman was arrested on a parole violation a week after Kuehl's body was found. He's currently in the Dodge Correctional Institution in Waupun. His most recent conviction was for burglary.
"Wickman was interviewed several times by detectives and he would only say that he had not seen Dan for five years,” said Capt. Todd Thomas, Green Bay Police Department.
But police say things didn't match up.
A couple weeks before Kuehl was found dead in his home, police say Wickman left the halfway house where he was living, quit his job and started stealing to support his crack cocaine habit. On May 7, police say Wickman missed a parole meeting. An arrest warrant was issued on May 8. Kuehl was found dead on May 10.
But how did police tie Wickman to Kuehl?
In fact, Kuehl knew Wickman. Back in 2004, police say Kuehl let a "down-on-his-luck" Wickman stay in an apartment at Kuehl's Ashland Avenue home. In exchange, Wickman would do maintenance work around the property. According to a criminal complaint filed in 2006, not long after Wickman moved in, Kuehl reported a burglary. A gun and some checks of Kuehl’s were missing and Kuehl suspected the items were taken by Wickman.
“He ultimately was not convicted of that crime," said Brown County District Attorney David Lasee. "He was sentenced back to prison on other cases at that time.”
“His name came up in the old cases," said Thomas, referring to the investigation of Kuehl's homicide. "And we started looking closer at where (Wickman) was and what he was doing around the time of the homicide."
Lasee says it appears Wickman took advantage of Kuehl's compassion, for a second time.
"He's merely indicated that he hadn't had any contact with Mr. Kuehl for the last 5 years. And that's inconsistent with the DNA evidence that was found in Mr. Kuehl's residence,” Lasee said.
Police say they had to wait for DNA results before they could file murder charges. Lasee says he expects Wickman to appear in court on these most recent charges in the next couple of weeks.
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