Kraig Appleton booking photo

By Shereen Siewert

A former University of Wisconsin wide receiver is facing first-degree murder charges connected to the fatal shooting of a 41-year-old woman in East St. Louis, Ill., the Belleville News-Democrat reports.

Kraig Appleton, 29, is accused of shooting Kelli S. Farrell, 41, in the stomach on April 20. He is being held in the St. Clair County Jail on a $1 million bond. Police have not described a motive for the shooting, which was investigated by East St. Louis and Illinois State Police detectives.

Kelli Ferrel

Ferrell was taken to Touchette Regional Hospital where she died from a gunshot wound to the abdomen, according to a news release.

Appleton was a high school football standout in East St. Louis, where his 10 touchdowns and 23.5 yards per catch earned him a football scholarship.

A late addition to the Badgers’ Class of 2009 after initially leaning toward Illinois, he played occasionally as a true freshman, catching three passes for 26 yards. but was suspended for an unspecified violation of team rules. He disappeared shortly after from the Badgers’ lineup and withdrew from school.

In 2011, Appleton was shot several times in East St. Louis.

Appleton was formally charged with first-degree murder by St. Clair County State’s Attorney James A. Gomric last week. He remains jailed as of Tuesday afternoon.