For the second time in two months, a judge has denied a Fall Creek man’s attempt to withdraw his guilty plea in connection with the 2017 homicides of one of his sisters and her boyfriend.
In a written ruling this week, Eau Claire County Judge Emily Long denied Wayne W. Price’s motion for reconsideration of the January ruling.
“The motion presented does not establish a basis for reconsideration,” Long said in her ruling.
Russell Hanson, Price’s attorney, argued in his motion that Long greatly minimized in her January decision the impact of an April 2019 letter Eau Claire County District Attorney Gary King sent to Long.
Long ruled in January that Price’s claims of ineffective assistance of counsel, a pressured plea and that his plea was involuntary were unfounded.
Price, 49, is accused of killing Elizabeth “Lisa” A. Price and David R. Dishneau in September 2017 and burying their bodies on his property.
Price in November filed the motion to withdraw the guilty pleas he made in January 2019.
Price pleaded guilty to two felony murder charges and two counts of felony false imprisonment. However, when his mother and another sister visited him in jail in March 2019, he said he felt “backed into a corner” to do so and denied responsibility for the conduct tied to the guilty pleas. He also said he’s “another victim out of the deal.”
King saw a recording of the jail visit and alerted Long of the development in the case.
Long this week also canceled Price’s April 24 sentencing hearing. A new date was not set.
The plea agreement would hold the prosecution to not ask for more than 28½ years in prison for Price while the defense would not seek less than 20 years.
According to the criminal complaint:
A man called police on Sept. 29, 2017, after getting a worrisome request from Price over the phone. Price, who was on the road at the time, felt his life had been threatened and asked the man to bring a gun to his house.
Also during that day, Price told the man he had gotten involved in a drug deal, did something “really stupid,” shot two people and would be going to prison.
Police arrested Price, who works as a truck driver, later that day outside of the Fall Creek fire station.
Following Price’s arrest, officers tested a container found in his semitrailer and it came back positive for methamphetamine.
Authorities searched Price’s property the next day and found a Cadillac with blood on both front seats. The bodies of Lisa Price and Dishneau were found in a shallow grave just north of the vehicle.
Autopsy results showed Lisa Price was shot once in the head and also suffered blunt force trauma to her head. Dishneau was shot twice in the head and once in the neck. The shootings of the two were believed to happen around Sept. 23, 2017, in the Cadillac owned by Price’s employer.