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Deal in bodies-in-suitcases case delayed

By GRETCHEN EHLKE
Associated Press

A proposed plea deal has been delayed for a former suburban Milwaukee police officer charged with ditching the bodies of two women he’s accused of killing in suitcases along a rural Wisconsin highway.

The Wisconsin case against Steven Zelich was expected to wrap up Wednesday when he was to enter a plea and be sentenced on two counts of hiding a corpse in Walworth County.

But Judge David Reddy said he was concerned that things were happening too quickly after the initial plea agreement was changed just before the hearing.

The Janesville Gazette reports Zelich’s attorney, Jonathan Smith, agreed to set the case for trial to have more time to talk to his client. The jury trial is set for Oct. 3.

The 54-year-old Zelich has already been sentenced to 35 years in prison in the 2012 death of 19-year-old Jenny Gamez, of Cottage Grove, Ore. Authorities are hoping to extradite him to Minnesota, where he’s charged in the death of the other victim.

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