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Plea expected in murder for hire case


WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAU) -- The Merrill woman accused of trying to hire a killer will enter a plea and avoid a trial.

33-year-old Jessica Strom is accused of offering money and sex to a former classmate to kill boyfriend and attorney John Schellpfeffer. Schellpfeffer practices law in Merrill and Wausau, so special prosecutor Ralph Uttke from Langlade County was brought in to handle the case.

Uttke told WAOW television Wednesday, “We are going to stipulate that she is in fact competent and she is going to enter a plea.” Uttke didn’t elaborate on what that plea might be.

Strom is the mother of three children, including one with the intended victim. All of the children are with other family members.

The plea hearing is set for May 16th in Marathon County Circuit Court before Vilas County Judge Neal A. Nielsen III. Strom is currently being held in the Marathon County Jail on a $250,000 cash bond.