UPDATE (WQOW) - Murder charges were filed Friday against 2 area men, four months after an Eau Claire man was found shot to death near Chippewa Falls.
Chippewa County District Attorney Steve Gibbs said he only received the police report a little over a month ago, and in it, he found more than 1100 pages to review and over 86 dvds to watch.
After reviewing all that information, Gibbs filed charges Friday against Jesse Lloyd and Matthew Labrec. Both are charged with being party to the crime of 1st degree intentional homicide.
They're accused in the March murder of Kenneth Patterson. His body was found on the front lawn of a home in a residential area near Lake Wissota. According to the charges, Labrec and Lloyd were intending to rob Patterson when he showed up to buy drugs from them. Labrec told investigators Lloyd shot Patterson, and that Labrec also tried to shoot, but his gun wouldn't fire. A witness indicated Labrec appeared to be under the influence of meth when he talked about the shooting later that morning.
While Gibbs would not talk about the specifics of the case, he says it is indicative of the widespread meth problem here. "In the Chippewa Valley, we have a rampant methamphetamine problem, it's highly addictive," he said. "As a result of it being highly addictive, our case filings are going up, it's an epidemic here and something needs to be done about the methamphetamine problem."
The Chippewa County Coroner says Patterson was shot once in the thigh, and that he bled to death. Another apparent bullet hole was found in his coat.
Gibbs praised investigators, who questioned over 100 people in the course of their investigation. .
Lloyd and Labrec have been in custody since several days after the shooting. Gibbs says court dates will now be set for both.
3 other men were also charged Friday in connection with the murder case. Gary LaRose Jr., Steven Kolpien Jr., and Timmy Johnson are all charged with aiding a felon. Kolpien is accused of giving the two murder suspects a ride when they told him they needed to get out of town because they had "hurt somebody bad." He's also accused of helping them dispose of a gun. Larousse and Johnson are also accused of being convicted felons in possession of a gun.
Chippewa Falls (WQOW) - Jesse Lloyd, the man investigators have been looking for in connection with a homicide in Chippewa County, was found and taken into custody Friday night.
According to a press release, authorities executed a search warrant for an apartment at 912 Pearl Street in Chippewa Falls on March 18 where they found Lloyd. The sheriff's office said he was taken into custody without any incident.
Law enforcement said Lloyd was the last person of interest concerning the death of Kenneth Patterson. Patterson's body was found with a single gunshot wound in a residential area near Lake Wissota the morning of March 14. The search for Lloyd, and a report of shots fired, caused police to shut down a street near the Chippewa Falls Police Department March 15.
The search spilled over into Eau Claire on Wednesday, when authorities took Matthew Labrec into custody for questioning in the same case.
Chippewa County Sheriff James Kowalczyk said Labrec and Lloyd are two of over a dozen people they plan to interview to put together the pieces of this homicide investigation. Both men have criminal histories, according to online court records.