Darren M. Wold, convicted in 2011 of the murder-for-hire of the mother of his child, was denied a bid for a new trial.
The appeals court in Waukesha on Wednesday affirmed a lower court decision to not reopen the murder case. Wold was found guilty by a trial jury of conspiring with co-defendant Jack Johnson to hire Justin Welch to kill Kim Smith, the mother of Wold's son, Jackson.
Welch came to Oconomowoc from California and stabbed Smith eight times in 2009, according to court records. Johnson and Welch received life sentences. At 69 years old, Johnson died in 2013 while serving his sentence in the Dodge Correctional Institution. Welch is eligible for parole after he turns 70.
It's the second time Wold's appeal has been denied by an upper court. His first appeal was denied in 2014. He is serving a life sentence for first-degree intentional homicide - being party to a crime, without the possibility of parole.
The District 2 Court of Appeals dismissed a Wold appeal in 2014. He then claimed the trial circuit erred in admitting questionable evidence and trial counsel was ineffective for not adequately objecting to certain witness statements.
Last year, Wold filed motions in which he complained his trial counsel was ineffective for failing to show that a co-defendant had given inconsistent statements to police, failing to call certain witnesses and failing to consult with him about strategic choices. Wold also accused the circuit court of bias and claimed that it erred in denying his motion to change venue.
The circuit court denied the motions without a hearing. The appeals court says it was "procedurally barred" from taking the appeal and that Wold’s arguments are "conclusory and undeveloped."