STEVENS POINT, Wis. (WSAW) -- A jury has found Joseph Reinwand, 56, guilty of first degree murder in the 1984 death of his wife.
Pamela Reinwand was 19-years-old when she died of a single gunshot wound May 13, 1984 at the couple's Plover home. Her death was ruled a suicide, however, in 2009 Pamela's body was exhumed following advancements in technology. Police were acting on a tip they received in 2008.
In that year, Joseph was charged with first-degree intentional homicide in the 2008 death of Dale Meister. Meister was found shot to death in his Wisconsin Rapids mobile home on March 4, 2008.
Meister's death had been a cold case, however, Joseph was charged in 2013 and convicted at a jury trial in October 2014. Meister was the father of Joseph's granddaughter. The child's mother was Pamela's daughter.
Prosecutor Robert Kaiser said based on later-developed forensic evidence, Joseph's accounts throughout the 32 years since Pamela's death, including his contradictory statements and admissions, and his conviction for murdering a Meister to whom he had admitted killing Pamela, they'll be able to arrive at the truth.
"The truth is what the defendant told Dale Meister, that he had killed and could kill again, that he had killed and gotten away with it and he'll get away with it again, that he had shot his wife and made it look like a suicide and he could do it again,” Kaiser said in his closing statements.
Joseph's attorney, Jeffrey Jazgar argues this case is not about what happened in 2008, but about what happened in 1984. He said this investigation did not change over the years, and instead, that the rulings in 1984 are just as credible today as they were back then.
"The flags weren't there in 1984 and I'm having a hard time believing that that's not reasonable doubt...Because there was a decision in 1984 was that it was ruled a suicide, but police at that time knowing the statements or the supposed conflicting statements given by Joe at that time, were not enough of a red flag back then to further the investigation," Jazgar said in his closing statements.
During an interview with police in 1984, a cousin of Pamela's told police she [Pamela] was excited about being a new mom and suspected the death was something other than suicide. Pamela's daughter was about six-months-old at the time of the death.
Another witness said after Pamela's funeral she was at the couple's home, saw Pam's bags packed and suspected Pamela intended to leave Joseph prior to her death.
As testimony was given, Joseph did not take the stand in his own defense.