CHIPPEWA FALLS — A Chippewa Falls man convicted for his role in assisting two people in a March 2016 murder case is now facing a prison sentence after being arrested for his fifth drunken driving offense.
Steven J. Kolpien, 32, 527 Dwight St., was convicted of harboring or aiding a felon after he met with Jesse R. Lloyd and Matthew L. Labrec in the days after they reportedly shot and killed Kenneth Patterson in the town of Eagle Point in March 2016.
According to the criminal complaint, Labrec and Lloyd brought a gun used in Patterson’s death to Kolpien, who advised them to have it melted down. Kolpien wound up taking the gun, which was inside a case, and threw it in a garbage container. Kolpien later led police to the container, where they recovered the .22 caliber rifle.
When Kolpien was sentenced in June 2017, Judge Steve Cray gave him a six-month stayed jail sentence, plus a two-year prison sentence that also was imposed and stayed, meaning that Kolpien could be ordered to serve that prison sentence while on probation over the next four years. As part of that plea agreement, Kolpien was required to testify truthfully in the criminal cases against Lloyd and Labrec.
Kolpien appeared for a bond hearing Thursday in Chippewa County Court, where Cray ordered him held on a $5,000 cash bond. He is being held on possible charges of drunk driving-fifth offense, possession of meth and marijuana, and operating after revocation. Jail records show he was arrested just after midnight Thursday morning, and is slated to make his initial court appearance today.
Clark County issued a warrant for Kolpien’s arrest on Aug. 22 when Kolpien failed to show up in court on charges of possession of meth and drug paraphernalia.
Neither Labrec nor Lloyd was convicted of homicide in Patterson’s death. Last October, a Chippewa County jury convicted Lloyd of armed robbery and being a felon in possession of a firearm, but they found him not guilty of first-degree intentional homicide. He was sentenced in January to serve 20 years in prison and 10 years of extended supervision.
Labrec, 24, pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm by a felon and armed robbery with use of force in February 2017, and also was ordered to serve 20 years in prison and six years of extended supervision.