WISCONSIN RAPIDS - A judge has sentenced 55-year-old Wisconsin Rapids man to life in prison - just hours after a jury found him guilty of fatally shooting his daughter's ex-boyfriend some six years ago.
Following a 10-day trial, Joseph Reinwand was convicted of first-degree intentional homicide in the 2008 death of 35-year-old Dale Meister in Wisconsin Rapids. Meister was shot three times.
The judge ordered that Reinwand never be eligible for parole.
For Meister's family, the sentence comes as welcome relief.
"My uncle finally got some justice and it's a huge weight lifted off our shoulders. We've all been worried if this was ever going to be a non-cold case for Wood County, and we finally got what we've all been praying and hoping for," said Rochel Johannes, Meister's niece.
Reinwand is currently an inmate at a state prison in Portage for convictions in two unrelated Wood County felony cases from 2008 and 2009.
He did not the take the stand Wednesday as testimony in the murder trial wrapped up.
A jury from Waushara County found him guilty after getting the case Thursday.
Witnesses testified that Meister had told them that he was afraid Reinwand would try to kill him. Meister and Reinwand's daughter, Jolynn, were in the midst of a custody dispute over their child.
One of Reinwand's one-time prison cellmates told authorities that Reinwand confessed to killing Meister and even reenacted it, the criminal complaint said.
The trial represents one of two cold-case killings that Reinwand is accused of masterminding.
Last summer, Portage County prosecutors charged Reinwand with first-degree murder in the death of his wife, Pamela, at their home in Plover in 1984. He pleaded not guilty and his trial is set for July.