Testimony in Murder for Hire Trial Begins

10/19/11 – Jurors in Waukesha County will hear their first full day of testimony in the murder-for-hire trial of Darren Wold and Jack Johnson. District Attorney Brad Schimel said in his opening argument that both defendants offered seven-thousand-dollars to Justin Welch to have him kill Wold’s former girlfriend. Authorities said Welch killed 39-year-old Kimberly Smith two years ago so Wold could have sole custody of their young son. The 28-year-old Welch has pleaded guilty to the slaying – and he agreed to testify against Wold and Johnson to have a chance at a supervised prison release when he’s 60. Defense lawyers Mark Rosen and Anthony Rosario called Welch a predator, and said he would lie on the witness stand to get a better sentencing deal. Rosen represents Johnson, and Rosario is the attorney for Wold. Both lawyers said their own clients had nothing to do with the murder-for-hire scheme – and each blamed the other’s client for what happened. The trial is expected to run for about a month.