Man charged with homicide in Polk County reaches plea arrangement

45-year-old Joseph Hadro pleaded guilty to 1st-degree reckless homicide and arson.
Published: Nov. 2, 2022 at 8:13 AM CDT
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OSCEOLA, Wis. (WEAU) - A man charged with homicide and arson in Polk County has reached a plea arrangement with prosecutors.

45-year-old Joseph Hadro, who is not known to have a permanent address, pleaded guilty to 1st-degree reckless homicide and arson of a building as a party to a crime in Polk County Circuit Court on Oct. 27.

A charge of 1st-degree intentional homicide, which carries a mandatory life sentence, was dismissed but read in as part of the plea deal, according to online court records.

Hadro was arrested in Minnesota as a suspect in the death of 63-year-old Scott Zitzow of Stacy, Minn., who was found dead after a fire in a trailer home in Osceola on March 9, 2022.

According to the criminal complaint filed with the charges, Zitzow was found dead in the shower of the home with several bruises on his face. An autopsy determined that Zitzow died of blunt force trauma to the head. A person of interest in the case told investigators that Hadro was seen wiping blood off of a hammer inside the trailer before leaving the scene. According to a release, Osceola Police and the Polk County Sheriff’s Office said that Zitzow was found dead inside the trailer after crews from the Osceola Fire Department put out the fire on the 200 block of Seminole Avenue. Law enforcement agencies said that Hadro was considered dangerous and may be armed as they searched for him following the death.

Hadro will be sentenced on Jan. 27, 2023. He faces up to 60 years in prison for the homicide charge and up to 40 years in prison for the arson charge, with the latter charge carrying a maximum $100,000 penalty. Hadro remains in custody on a $500,000 cash bond.

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