By Shereen Siewert
IRON COUNTY — A judge has issued an arrest warrant for one of five suspects accused of killing a Lac du Flambeau man and hiding his body in a remote area near Mercer.
James Lussier, 19, faces charges in Iron County Circuit Court of conspiracy to commit first degree intentional homicide and hiding a corpse in connection with the death of Wayne Valliere, Jr., whose body was discovered Jan. 1. Valliere’s family reported him missing on Christmas Day.
Vilas County Circuit Judge Neal A. Nielsen III issued the warrant Jan. 23 after Lussier failed to appear at an initial appearance on a misdemeanor charge of obstructing an officer for allegedly lying to police early in the investigation.
As of Feb. 10, Lussier remains at large. He has open warrants in Vilas, Iron, and Marathon Counties, according to court records.
Also facing identical charges in connection with Valliere’s death are 27-year-old Richard Allen, 26-year-old Joseph Lussier, 26-yar-old Curtis Wolfe and 27-year-old Evan Oungst, who are all in custody.
Police say Valliere was killed during the early morning hours of Dec. 22 on Swamp Lake Road, a remote location just north of Mercer. Witnesses, including some of the defendants, told police Allen repeatedly flashed a handgun while the group traveled in a minivan to the Mercer area from Arbor Vitae, according to the criminal complaint. When the vehicle stopped, Allen beat Valliere and then shot him in the face, police said. Joseph Lussier then allegedly took the 9-mm handgun and shot Valliere seven more times as he lay dying in the road.
Oungst eventually led police to Valliere’s body, according to court documents. Police say Valliere was suspected of being an informant.
Anyone with information about James Lussier’s whereabouts should call their local police department.
The case will be prosecuted by the Department of Justice’s criminal litigation unit, with Assistant Attorneys General Richard DuFour and Chad Verbeten serving as lead prosecutors.