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Judge: Enough evidence to move forward with homicide charge against Seth Wakefield

Seth Wakefield is escorted into an Oneida County Courtroom for his preliminary hearing Monday morning.
Katie Thoresen
Seth Wakefield is escorted into an Oneida County Courtroom for his preliminary hearing Monday morning.

When the Oneida County Sheriff’s Office first started investigating Hannah Miller’s death, Christopher Anderson was their main suspect.

Miller was found shot to death on the side of the road just outside of Rhinelander in June.

But talking to people that knew both Anderson and Miller, another name came up several times: Seth Wakefield.

“Throughout the course of the investigation had been identified as a close associate of Christopher Anderson. It was essentially determined that he was someone we needed to speak to,” said Det. Sgt. Timothy Gensler. He was one of two Oneida County Sheriff’s Detectives that testified during Wakefield’s preliminary hearing Monday.

He was one of the initial officers to interview Wakefield two days after Miller’s body was found, but weeks before Anderson would be found and arrested in Illinois.

At first, officers wanted to talk to Wakefield to learn more about Anderson and where he might be.

Then they learned from Wakefield that he knew of Anderson’s plan to kill Miller and her parents and run off with their child.

“Mr. Wakefield indicated over several weeks that they’d talk about different possibilities of what they might do, indicating that one of them might dress up a pizza delivery guy with a concealed weapon. Different plans had been discussed,” said Gensler.

Miller’s parent and the child were not harmed.

Gensler said Wakefield told him he helped Anderson scout out Miller’s apartment and plan the murders.

After Miller was killed, Wakefield told police he got a call from Anderson saying that things didn’t go as planned and he’d be on the run for a while. Though whether this was the day of the murder or after, Wakefield didn’t say with certainty.

Wakefield is charged with first degree intentional homicide as party to a crime. His attorney questioned Gensler if Wakefield provided Anderson with a gun or ammunition, had driven Anderson to Miller’s apartment that morning, or if Wakefield even knew or had met Miller.

That answer to all of those questions was no.

Oneida County Circuit Court Judge Patrick O’Melia found enough evidence to move forward with the case.

Wakefield is due back in court next month.

Katie Thoresen is WXPR's News Director/Vice President.
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