Chetek man sentenced for role in hidden corpse case - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Chetek man sentenced for role in hidden corpse case

Posted: Updated:
Courtesy: Barron County Sheriff's Department Courtesy: Barron County Sheriff's Department

UPDATE:
Barron County (WQOW) -
 Prison time is ordered for the Chetek man originally accused of hiding a corpse.

Investigators said Mike Wojciechowski and Ricky Saastad were smoking meth with Mark Johnson last August, when Johnson died of what turned out to be natural causes.

Wojciechowski was accused of stuffing the body into Johnson's car and parking it along a road. A Barron County judge threw out a charge of hiding a corpse, but a jury convicted him of stealing $12 from the dead man and lying to police.

Wojciechowski was sentenced Friday to three years and nine months in prison on those charges. 

Saastad, who pleaded guilty to maintaining a drug place, was placed on probation in january. 
 


Posted February, 2018

Barron County (WQOW)
- One of the two men charged for allegedly hiding a corpse has been found guilty. 

Investigators said Mike Wojciechowski and Ricky Saastad were smoking meth with Mark Johnson last August when Johnson died of natural causes. Wojciechowski is accused of stuffing the body into Johnson's own car and parking it along the side of the road. Saastad told police he used a rake to hide the marks in his yard left by dragging Johnson's body. 

Wojciechowski was found guilty of obstruction and theft from a person Wednesday. A sentencing has been scheduled for March 2. 

Saastad pleaded guilty to maintaining a drug trafficking place. He was placed on probation for three years. 


Posted January 22, 2018:

Barron County (WQOW) - One of the two Chetek men charged with hiding a dead man's body has reached a plea bargain with prosecutors. 

Investigators said Mike Wojciechowski and Ricky Saastad were smoking meth with Mark Johnson last August when Johnson died of natural causes. Wojciechowski is accused of stuffing the body into Johnson's own car and parking it along the side of the road. Saastad told police he used a rake to hide the marks in his yard left by dragging Johnson's body. 

Saastad pleaded guilty to maintaining a drug trafficking place. He was placed on probation for three years. 

Wojciechowski's trial for hiding a corpse begins Wednesday. 


Posted August 22, 2017: 

Barron County (WQOW) - Police have arrested two people after a suspicious death in Barron County.

On Tuesday, the Barron County Sheriff's Department arrested Ricky Saastad, 62, of Chetek, and Mike Wojciechowski, 37, of Chetek, in connection with the death of Mark Johnson.

According to a press release, Saastad is being held on felony charges of maintaining a drug house, resisting and obstructing for knowingly concealing items at the scene of the death. Wojciechowski is being held on a probation violation along with the charges of resisting and obstructing a party to the crime and theft for taking money from Johnson after he died.

Authorities said autopsy results indicated Johnson died from natural causes at Saastad's residence in Chetek after a night of all three men smoking meth.

News 18 spoke with Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald on Tuesday, who said Johnson had medical issues. He said they are waiting for a toxicology report but know that Johnson had meth in his system based on initial investigations.

Officials said Johnson's body was dragged to his car and money was taken from him. They said he was stuffed into the passenger seat of the car and Wojciechowski drove the car down the road and left it. Authorities said Saastad raked out drag marks and disposed of the drug evidence. 

Saastad and Wojciechowski are being held in the Barron County Jail awaiting formal charges by the Barron County District Attorney's Office.

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