NEW INFORMATION: Suspects accused of hiring accomplice, killing Barron Co. man

By: Andrew Fefer, Joe Nelson Email
By: Andrew Fefer, Joe Nelson Email

BARRON, Wis. (WEAU) -- Three suspects in the death of a Barron County man, including the victim's ex-wife, are now each facing a homicide charge.

Prosecutors filed a charge of Party to the Crime of First-Degree Intentional Homicide against Trista Hrabak, 29, of Rice Lake, Robert McBain, 37, of Cameron, and Ian Skjerly, 34, of Rice Lake on Monday. An autopsy on Daniel Raven, 33, of the Town of Clinton shows that he died from two gunshot wounds. Investigators say Raven's girlfriend called for help after finding him unresponsive on Mar. 10. His body was found in the basement of his home, and he had injuries to his arm and face.

A criminal complaint shows that Raven had problems with Trista Hrabak, and that her boyfriend, Skjerly, had threatened to kill Raven before the murder. Investigators also reviewed text messages between Hrabak and Skjerly. They say the couple planned to kill Raven, were involved in the murder, and had hired McBain to help them carry it out.

Skjerly told detectives the plan to kill Raven started in November 2013. He admitted to detectives that he was outside the house where Raven lived when he shot Raven twice with a semi-automatic rifle. Afterwards, he says he ran down the driveway to McBain's car. They left the gun near a bridge on 16th Avenue, and planned to go back to get it. McBain told investigators he received more than $100 to be the getaway driver, and that he was supposed to get another $500 after the shooting happened. Skjerly said Hrabak put the plan into motion, that Raven had turned her in for welfare fraud, and that she wanted him "gone as soon as possible."

The suspects' bond was set at $250,000 cash each on Monday. They're due back in court on March 24.

McBride's neighbor in Cameron said he saw no warning signs.

"It was shocking, considering we live downstairs from (McBride). You never know what people are capable of I guess," Jay McDowell said.

According to the criminal complaint, text messages illustrated plans to kill Raven.

During an interview with officers, Skjerly admitted to killing Raven. Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald said he's happy the suspects were brought to justice.

"From the law enforcement standpoint it's nice and for the citizens and the safety for the public, knowing that this isn't a random act and we didn't have a random shooter out there, we have what we believe all the evidence that would point to a conviction in this case, we're very happy and satisfied and I'm proud of the work that the men and women of the Barron County Sheriffs Department did," Fitzgerald said.

Raven's friends, who also know Hrabak and Skjerly from high school said they're in disbelief.

"I don't see how anyone could do that, especially to their own children's father. I'm still in shock," Raven's friend Jesse Heldt said.

"I would like to see life in prison, I'd like to see justice served and i hope they have a lot of time to think about what they did. And how they hurt a lot of people in this community," Raven's friend and former coworker Roy Hutchinson said.

They're finding ways to remember their friend, an outdoorsman and father of two, in a positive way.

"Dan's tattoo that he has; a raven perched on a skull, it's on his right arm I believe. The myth is that a raven carries its soul to its final resting place, so it all kind of comes together now I guess and he'll ride along with us for a long time," Hutchinson said.
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BARRON, Wis. (WEAU) -- Three suspects in the death of a Barron County man, including the victim's ex-wife, are now each facing a homicide charge.

Prosecutors filed a charge of Party to the Crime of First-Degree Intentional Homicide against Trista Raven-Hrabak, 29, of Rice Lake, Robert McBain, 37, of Cameron, and Ian Skjerly, 34, of Rice Lake on Monday. An autopsy on Daniel Raven, 33, of the Town of Clinton shows that he died from two gunshot wounds. Investigators say Raven's girlfriend called for help after finding him unresponsive on March 10. His body was found in the basement of his home, and he had injuries to his arm and face.

A criminal complaint shows that Raven had problems with Trista Raven-Hrabak, and that her boyfriend, Skjerly, had threatened to kill Raven before the murder. Investigators also reviewed text messages between Raven-Hrabak and Skjerly. They say the couple planned to kill Raven, were involved in the murder, and had hired McBain to help them carry it out.

Skjerly told detectives the plan to kill Raven started in November 2013. He admitted to detectives that he was outside the house where Raven lived when he shot Raven twice with a semi-automatic rifle. Afterwards, he says he ran down the driveway to McBain's car. They left the gun near a bridge on 16th Avenue, and planned to go back to get it. McBain told investigators he received more than $100 to be the getaway driver, and that he was supposed to get another $500 after the shooting happened. Skjerly said Raven-Hrabak put the plan into motion, that Raven had turned her in for welfare fraud, and that she wanted him "gone as soon as possible."

The suspects' bond was set at $250,000 cash each on Monday. They're due back in court on March 24.


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