Oshkosh police arrest last Northwoods homicide suspect; Lussier now in Winnebago Co. JailSubmitted: 02/19/2018
Ben Meyer
Ben Meyer
Managing Editor / Senior Reporter

Oshkosh police arrest last Northwoods homicide suspect; Lussier now in Winnebago Co. Jail
OSHKOSH - On Sunday night, police in Oshkosh ended what became a statewide search for a Northwoods homicide suspect.

The Oshkosh Police Department arrested 19-year-old James Lussier, the last of the five men accused of killing Wayne Valliere Jr. near Mercer and hiding his body. Earlier this month, Lussier tried to turn himself in, but was let go on an officer's error in Vilas County.

In a press release, the Oshkosh Police Department said it made the arrest at about 7:30 p.m. Lussier is currently in the Winnebago County Jail.

Oshkosh police spokeswoman Kate Mann said she didn't know why Lussier was in the city.

The arrest puts all five murder suspects in jail nearly two months after the 25-year-old Valliere disappeared from Lac du Flambeau. Richard Allen, Joseph Lussier, Curtis Wolfe, and Evan Oungst were already in custody.

Newswatch 12 visited the area where Oungst showed Valliere's abandoned body to Lac du Flambeau Police Chief Bob Brandenburg, as detailed in the criminal complaint. Valliere's body was left behind a berm near Swamp Creek Road in the town of Mercer in a remote part of Iron County. Accessing Swamp Creek Road requires a drive of almost seven miles on an unpaved road. There are no houses on the entire path to the site.

Brandenburg found Valliere's body on New Year's Day with eight bullet holes. On Feb. 7, the state Department of Justice charged the five suspects with homicide and hiding a corpse. Four of the five were already in jail.

Two days later, the fifth suspect, James Lussier, tried to turn himself into Vilas County Jail. Officers jokingly told him he needed to go to Iron County, and he left.

"There's not an option," Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel said Friday during an interview in Rhinelander. "If an officer is in contact with an individual that they know has a warrant, that officer is required under Wisconsin law to take them into custody."

The state Department of Justice will handle the prosecution of the five homicide suspects. Their first appearance in Iron County Court is on March 5.

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ARBOR VITAE - You won't want to wear your best clothes to one race in May.

Minocqua's Color Run Fundraiser is a 3K and 5K race for Arbor Vitae-Woodruff and MJ1 schools.

The race is one of the schools' biggest fundraisers for field trips, additional school supplies and equipment.

The Color Run raised almost $20,000 last year.

"It comes from all of the kids and their fundraising in the community, with the help of grandparents and parents and friends," says AVW Principal Rich Fortier.

The race will be at the Minocqua Park Complex on May 5.

To find out how to register, click below.

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RHINELANDER - The older you get the worse your vision can become. But retired or not, vision screening can be expensive.

The Rhinelander Lions Club offered free eye testing for anyone over 40 on Monday.

The screening took place at the Oneida County Department of Aging.

The purpose of the screening was to help people identify if they are at high risk for eye disease or need to see an eye doctor.

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NEW LONDON - New London police have sent pieces of candy from a St. Patrick's Day parade to the State Crime Laboratory to see if it's tainted.

Police warned people not to eat candy they got at Saturday's parade over concerns it may be contaminated. They received about 10 complaints about children and others developing temporary numbness or rash since Saturday.

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ANTIGO - A crowd gathered in Antigo to talk about drug abuse Monday night, about how it affects all aspects of the community and ways it could possibly be fixed.

One thing that everyone could agree on, is that it's an issue that needs to be resolved.

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RIB MOUNTAIN - A Wisconsin State Patrol Captain wants to know, who's ready to report for duty? The department is looking for  new cadets. But recruitment and training is no easy task.
"[It's] very hard to find qualified candidates. It's a struggle," said Wisconsin State Patrol Captain Adrian Logan.
Captain Logan wants five people to answer the call. 

The department's looking for new cadets who'll train to become state troopers.
However, the process of finding the right candidate is no easy task and takes dedication from both sides.
"It's a very extensive process," said Logan.
After passing a background check and interview, candidates will go through 12 weeks of field training, 26 weeks of training with an officer, then a yearlong probation period.
"You've got to be committed to it," said Logan.
The dedication for the role doesn't stop there. 

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MINOCQUA - You can travel all of Latin America and Spain and never leave the dinner table in Minocqua.

Minocqua Brewing Company is hosting a " Tango, Tapas, and Tempranillo" wine dinner Tuesday night.

Getting culturally creative with food can be tough during a slow tourism season.

That's why learning about new cuisine and sharing it with the locals is the chef's favorite part.

"I have used Chimichurri for fifteen years, but to actually research and find out where it came from and the story behind it is kind of cool," says Chef Scott Conley.

Minocqua Brewing hosts a wine dinner and cooking class each month.

For more info, click the link below.

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In his 20 years with the Vilas County Jail, administrator Bill Weiss can count on two hands how many times an inmate got out earlier than they should.

"It's pretty rare," Weiss said.

Weiss needed to add to that tally last week.  The jail let Edward Chosa Junior go as a "free" man on March 13, however that wasn't his correct release date.

"It was a clerical mistake," Weiss said.

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