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Trial set for ex-Wisconsin police officer in suitcase murder

KENOSHA, Wis. (AP) — A trial has been set for a former Wisconsin police officer accused of killing an Oregon woman whose body was found in a suitcase along a rural highway.

A final pretrial hearing was held Tuesday for 54-year-old Steven Zelich. WITI-TV reports the trial for the former West Allis officer is scheduled to begin Jan. 25 and is expected to last two weeks.

Zelich is charged with first-degree intentional homicide and hiding a corpse in the 2012 death of 19-year-old Jenny Gamez, from Cottage Grove, Ore. Zelich also is suspected of killing 37-year-old Laura Simonson, of Farmington, Minn., at a Rochester hotel in 2013.

The women’s remains were found in suitcases along a highway near Lake Geneva in June 2014.

Court records say Zelich told investigators he killed them accidentally during sex.

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