Person of interest in Wausau murder case pleads not guilty on f - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Person of interest in Wausau murder case pleads not guilty on felony domestic charges


A man, considered a person of interest in a Wausau homicide has pleaded not guilty to two felony domestic charges.

Lee Franck, 56, is charged with disorderly conduct against his former girlfriend.

"Lee certainly remains a person of interest in this case," Detective Captain Ben Graham of the Wausau Police Department said. 

In February, court records show the two got into an argument.

Days later, the woman's father, Lyle Leith, was found dead in his garage on Wausau's east side. 

On Monday, an amended criminal complaint was filed by the state. 

"Many times there are reports that continue to come into the district attorney's office so when we initially filed the charges we did not have all the reports that were eventually available to us," Marathon County District Attorney, Theresa Wetzsteon.

Police said the disorderly conduct charges came to light as they investigated the homicide. 

Graham said Wausau police executed a second search warrant last week at Franck's house in Florence County. 

"Regardless of its complexities, there are always things you learn along the way so there may have been things we didn't think were relevant at the time that are now relevant as we go forward in the investigation," Graham said. 

Franck entered his official pleas of not guilty on both charges on Monday. 

"The defendant waived his right to a preliminary hearing, the court found probable cause to bind over for trial and we proceeded to arraignment where the defendant officially entered his pleas of not guilty," Wetzsteon said.

Franck requested a speedy trial on the domestic abuse charges. Police said this likely doesn't impact the ongoing homicide investigation. 

"It does to a certain extent but just understand we're working as fast as we possibly can in the case so at the end of the day it doesn't matter that much," Graham said. 

Franck's attorney declined to comment on the case. 

The district attorney said authorities are still investigating the homicide. 

He has not been charged with that crime. 

Graham said the police department hopes to have more test results by the end of the week. 

**In an earlier version of this story, a woman misidentified herself to Newsline 9 as Mr. Franck's mother.  Her quote has been removed.** 

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