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West rejects plea deal for homicide, arson charges in connection with cemetery shooting

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WAUSAU, WI (WSAU) — The suspect accused of killing Patty Grimm and injuring two others in the Pine Grove Cemetery last October has refused a plea deal offered by the Marathon County District Attorney.

During a court appearance on Wednesday, DA Theresa Wetzsteon noted that her office offered up the deal but Henry West turned it away. Meaning the case is likely to head to trial in the next few months.

Wetzsteon did not specify what was in the deal while on the record.

West faces 16 felony counts and one misdemeanor including first-degree intentional homicide for killing Grimm. He’s also accused of shooting and injuring two other cemetery employees, William Buhse and Rosemelia Short.

Other charges include attempted first-degree intentional homicide, arson, and obstructing an officer. The intentional homicide charge alone carries a mandatory life sentence.

West has been described as a disgruntled former employee of the cemetery. Management had requested a police presence when they told West he would be fired in 2012 because they were afraid of how he would react to the news.

During Wednesday’s court proceedings officials also said they expect to introduce expert testimony from Wisconsin Public Service. West had also rigged his Schofield apartment building to blow up and cut a nearby natural gas line. Police say had the bombs gone off and ignited the gas it could have killed and injured hundreds of people.

West returns to court on October 28th. It remains unclear when a jury trial will be scheduled. Wetzsteon has previously stated that a trial could take up to four weeks.

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