CHIPPEWA FALLS — A Chippewa Falls man accused of shooting and killing a 31-year-old acquaintance in the town of Eagle Point in March 2016 appeared in court Thursday for a final motion hearing before the beginning of his trial in October.
Jesse R. Lloyd, 23, accused of killing Kenneth Patterson on March 13, 2016, is charged in Chippewa County Court with first-degree intentional homicide, armed robbery with use of force and being a felon in possession of a firearm. The trial is slated to begin Oct. 2 and is expected to last up to eight days.
Judge James Isaacson granted a motion Thursday to allow Lloyd’s attorney, Aaron Nelson, to question Matthew Labrec — who has already been convicted for his role in Patterson’s death — during the trial. Chippewa County District Attorney Wade Newell didn’t object to allowing Labrec to testify.
Lloyd and Labrec are accused of luring Patterson to the home where he was killed. Labrec told authorities he also intended to shoot Patterson but his .22-caliber long gun malfunctioned and didn’t fire. Patterson apparently fled from Labrec and Lloyd.
Patterson’s body was found near the intersection of 83rd Avenue and 162nd Street, northeast of Chippewa Falls, by a passer-by at 9 a.m. March 14. Patterson was shot once in the right leg, striking a vein and damaging the artery, which caused him to die of blood loss.
Newell said events between the men from January 2016 should be allowed into court record because it shows a conspiracy to lure Patterson to the rural site and kill him. Newell contends they wanted the ingredients and materials for making meth, which is why they targeted Patterson, who had access to those items.
“The state’s theory is Mr. Patterson had done Mr. Labrec wrong in a prior drug deal,” Newell said. “It goes directly to the state’s theory this was an ongoing issue, an ongoing plan.”
Labrec was sentenced to 20 years in prison for his role in the murder. Nelson contends there is no proof that Lloyd committed a crime — just the statements made by Labrec to authorities. Nelson contends that Labrec had motive to kill Patterson, and he also contends that Labrec had previously attempted to kill Patterson.
Labrec and Lloyd were arrested within five days of Patterson’s body being discovered.
Police located bullets and a syringe in a toilet where Lloyd was staying in the days after the shooting, and those items were being tested for Lloyd’s DNA.
Several people who were accused of aiding and abetting Lloyd in the days after the shooting have pleaded guilty to minor crimes in the past year with the understanding they must truthfully testify at Lloyd’s trial on what they heard and saw.
Isaacson determined Thursday that those people will only be allowed to testify if they thought Labrec and/or Lloyd were using drugs and were in an altered state of mind during the day of the shooting, if that witness can say the drug use was to deal with the aftermath of the shooting.
The attorneys and Isaacson hammered through a list of items recovered, ranging from drugs and paraphernalia to clothing, determining if it would be allowed before the jury. Isaacson allowed a syringe and bullets found near a toilet where Lloyd was staying, with Lloyd’s DNA on them, to be presented to the jury.
Isaacson also allowed in a letter that Lloyd wrote to a friend, where he mentioned his concern he was going to prison for his actions, but those actions are undefined.
Isaacson set one final status conference for Sept. 26 to handle any last-minute issues ahead of the trial.
In August 2016, Chippewa County Judge Roderick Cameron revoked Lloyd’s three-year probation stemming from a 2014 conviction of manufacturing and delivering marijuana. Lloyd also has previously been convicted of possessing a controlled substance, resisting an officer, carrying a concealed weapon and possession of methamphetamine.
Lloyd remains in Waupun Correctional Institution. He attended the hearing Thursday but didn’t speak.