Merrill woman in murder plot waives hearing time - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Merrill woman in murder plot waives hearing time

WAUSAU (WAOW) – A Merrill woman accused of offering $1,000 and sex to hire a hit man to kill her boyfriend has agreed to wait for prosecutors to present evidence justifying the charges, according to online court records.

Jessica Strom, 33, waived the time limits for the preliminary hearing during a hearing Thursday in which the judge and special prosecutor participated by telephone, online Marathon County Circuit Court records said.

Strom was charged Monday with conspiracy to commit first-degree intentional homicide. Prosecutors say she met twice with a former technical college classmate and friend to hire him to kill a Wausau area attorney, described as her on-again, off-again boyfriend in a relationship that had gone bad.

The sought-after hit man contacted police who recorded the second meeting, just hours before Strom was arrested, the criminal complaint said.

Strom, who was jailed on $250,000 cash bond, was entitled to a preliminary hearing within 10 days of being arrested, court records said. That hearing is to convince a judge that prosecutors have enough evidence to justify the charge.

No date has been set for the hearing, online court records indicated Thursday.

Strom's attorney, James Runyon of Tomahawk, has not returned telephone messages.

According to the criminal complaint, Strom wanted the police informant to use a gun in the killing, which she advised should occur in the attorney's office. During the second meeting that police witnessed, a napkin was used to draw out some plans for carrying out the plot, the complaint said.

At one point, Strom advised the man that the “safest” days to confront the attorney were Monday or Tuesday because “he doesn't have the kids,” the complaint said.

Then the sought-after hit man repeated his fee would be $1,000, the complaint said.

Strom replies, 'Mmhmmm, and some sex!,'' the complaint said.

Langlade County District Attorney Ralph Uttke was named as special prosecutor and Taylor County Circuit Judge Ann Knox-Bauer is presiding over the case because Marathon County officials know and have worked with the alleged target of the murder plot.

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