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Judge and prosecutor assigned in murder-for-hire case

Jessica Anne Strom-Merrill, WI
Jessica Anne Strom-Merrill, WI

WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAU) -- A judge and a special prosecutor have been assigned to an alleged murder for hire case. 33-year-old Jessica A. Strom of Merrill is accused of trying to hire a man to kill her fiance, who is an attorney in Merrill and Wausau and has been a District Attorney in the past. At the initial appearance Monday, Marathon County Judge Michael Moran recused himself since he is familiar with the intended victim. Clark County Judge Jon Counsell was appointed, but defense attorney Gary Kryshak immediately filed for a substitution. Taylor County Judge Ann Knox-Bauer was appointed to handle the case Tuesday.

The Marathon County prosecutors are all familiar with the intended victim, too. That’s why the court assigned Langlade County District Attorney Ralph Uttke as the special prosecutor for the case.

The complaint says Strom spoke to a former classmate at a restaurant Thursday about getting a gun and shooting her fiance at his Merrill office, and then disposing of the body in Door County. The person Strom tried to hire recorded the conversation, and gave the recordings, along with drawings on a napkin to law enforcement.