Suspect In 25-Year-Old Rusk County Murder Case Returned To State

The ex-wife of a former Rusk County district attorney is back in Wisconsin to face charges of participating in a murder plot 25 years ago.

Cherie Barnard of San Mateo, California, is to make an initial court appearance after waiving extradition.

The 54-year-old attorney is charged with being party to first-degree murder and four counts of lying to a grand jury in the 1979 murder of Robert Pfeil, Jr.

She had been jailed in California on one million dollars bail.

Pfeil was shot in the head outside his rural Ladysmith home on August 14th, 1979.

Barnard is the third person charged in Pfeil's death in a plot that prosecutors say was masterminded by her ex-husband, then-Rusk County District Attorney Robert Rogers. According to court records, Rogers recruited three of his brothers as hit men because he feared Pfeil wanted to kill him and his family because Pfeil was upset over police killing three of his dogs.

A grand jury convened last year uncovered new evidence. And, one of Rogers' brothers, Mike, talked to investigators.