By Shereen Siewert
The fifth and final suspect in the execution-style killing of a Lac du Flambeau man whose body was discovered in a remote Iron County forest was convicted this week after reaching a plea deal with prosecutors.
Curtis Wolfe, 28, pleaded no contest to charges of second degree reckless homicide, hiding a corpse, possession of a firearm as a felon and aiding a felon. He originally faced murder charges in connection with the death of Wayne Valliere, Jr.
Four other suspects were convicted earlier. Joseph Lussier and Richard Allen were convicted in August 2018 of first-degree intentional homicide and were both sentenced to life in prison. James Lussier pleaded guilty that same month to reduced counts of felony murder and aiding a felon and was sentenced to 23 years.
A fourth defendant, Evan Oungst, of Woodruff, was convicted in May of second-degree reckless homicide, aiding a felon and delivery of gabapentin. His sentencing is set for Jan. 27.
According to the criminal complaint:
Valliere left the home he shared with his girlfriend in the early morning hours of Dec. 22, 2017 and met with the defendants at a party. One witness told police Wolfe and Joseph Lussier argued with Valliere over missing money and a meth pipe they believed Valliere had stolen. Another witness told investigators Valliere was suspected of being a confidential informant for the police.
Eventually, Valliere left with the suspects in a red minivan and drove to a remote area in Mercer, where Valliere was given a chance to “fight for his life,” according to witness statements.
After beating Valliere, Allen allegedly took out a handgun and shot Valliere in the head, according to the complaint. Then, while Valliere was still writhing on the ground, Joseph Lussier took the gun and emptied the clip into Valliere’s back, police said. The suspects then allegedly hid Valliere’s body in a wooded area off Swamp Creek Road in Mercer.
Autopsy results show Valliere suffered a total of eight gunshot wounds, six of which were in his back.
Wolfe, of Eagle River, will be sentenced Jan. 22 in Iron County Circuit Court.