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DA reacts to Marquardt being found guilty in FL trial (10/12/11)

By: Chris Baylor, WEAU 13 News Staff Email
By: Chris Baylor, WEAU 13 News Staff Email

A man acquitted of murder here in western Wisconsin has now been convicted of murdering a mother and daughter in Florida.

Chippewa County District Attorney, Jon Theisen says justice was served. He says there was a lot of work between the two counties across the country. Investigators say more than 11 years after the crime a jury has convicted Wisconsin native Bill Marquardt of murdering two women in Florida.

"Mr. Marquardt has enjoyed the presumption of innocence for 11 and-a-half years now. Another part of our legal system is justice for all and so after a conviction like today the justice for all component overtakes the presumption of innocence and puts the scale of justice in balance," says Theisen.

District Attorney Theisen took Marquardt to trial in Chippewa County for the murder of Marquardt's mother. He was acquitted in his mother's murder case in 2006 but a knife found here in Wisconsin was one of the keys to the investigation in the deaths of a mother and her daughter thousands of miles away in Florida. Theisen discovered the DNA match between the two cases.

"This case came together because of two concurrent cases, one in Florida, and one here in Chippewa county and kudos go out to prosecutor Pete Magrino who backed me up on this matter he got the conviction where I could not get a conviction," says Theisen.

Chippewa County Sheriff Jim Kowalczyk was subpoenaed to testify in Florida. He says it's still unclear why the two women were killed.

"There was never a motive determined the trial didn't address motive the trial was based on physical evidence. They relied on evidence they had and the evidence we surrendered to them," says Sheriff Kowalczyk.

"I believe Bill Marquardt won’t be on the streets and I'm happy he'll never be coming back to Wisconsin," says Theisen.

Marquardt faces the death penalty with the conviction. He's expected to be sentenced this coming spring.
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SUMTER COUNTY, FL (WEAU) -- A Florida jury has convicted Bill Marquardt on two counts of first degree intentional homicide and a charge of armed burglary.

Investigators say the jury reached its decision after nearly two-and-a-half hours of deliberation on Wednesday.

“Obviously I’m very pleased with the verdict that has been rendered," said Chippewa County Sheriff Jim Kowalczyk. "I think justice has…been done today here in Sumter County. I praise all law enforcement along with the prosecuting office down here in Sumter County…in doing an excellent job, and as a result, we have…the verdict that I think everybody in law enforcement anticipated, and it’s well-deserving.”

Assistant State Attorney Pete Magrino had said that he was prosecuting the case as a death penalty case.

The earliest Marquardt could be sentenced is the spring of 2012.

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Story from Tuesday, October 12:

(WEAU) - Closing arguments will begin in the Florida double murder trial of a western Wisconsin man Wednesday.

Investigators say Bill Marquardt, who is defending himself in the Florida death penalty case, called witnesses again Tuesday. Closing arguments start Wednesday morning and then the case goes to the jury.

Marquardt is accused of killing a mother and daughter in Sumter County, Florida.

Marquardt did not testify.

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(WEAU) - A western Wisconsin man faces the death penalty in Florida, in a double murder case.

On Monday, investigators say he'll start representing himself in the trial. The state of Florida rested its case Friday against Bill Marquardt.

He's accused of killing a mother and daughter in Florida. He was acquitted in his mother's Chippewa County murder case in 2006.

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(WEAU) - Several local law enforcement officers from our area testified in a double murder case in Florida Thursday.

Chippewa County Sheriff Jim Kowalczyk says he and four other local officers were called to the stand in the Bill Marquardt trial. Marquardt is facing capital murder charges in Florida in the deaths of a mother and daughter.

Kowalczyk, two retired Eau Claire County deputies and two current officers testified Thursday for the prosecution. Marquardt pleaded not guilty and is representing himself during the trial.

He was acquitted of killing his mother back in 2006.


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