Kevin Hueman's wife reportedly found her husband's body face down and riddled with bullets in front of an Albert Street home on a stormy night last August.
Police determined Hueman, who at the time was 40 years old and a had a 6-month-old son, was murdered, but a motive for the slaying remains mysterious.
The question facing a jury next Tuesday, July 12 in Waukesha County Circuit Court is whether Waukesha resident Justin T. Carl — who stands accused of first-degree intentional homicide in Hueman's killing — is the man responsible.
Carl's day in court comes a little more than two months after his attorneys, public defenders Adam J. Schleis and Maura Mcmahon, demanded a speedy trial for their client.
The trial is scheduled to last six days, according to online court records.
If convicted, Carl, 35, faces a mandatory life sentence.
Dark and stormy night
According to a criminal complaint, Carl shot Hueman four times around 8:17 p.m. Aug. 14, 2015 shortly after Hueman walked outside his North Street home to smoke and watch a thunderstorm that night.
The medical examiner determined all four shots, which hit Hueman in the chest and stomach, were fired at close range.
Authorities have not detailed either a relationship between Carl and Hueman or a motive for the killing.
Police recovered a bullet in front of 727 E. North St. and a black Nike shoe near Hueman's body, evidence they said later helped identify Carl as the prime suspect.
Carl's apartment was a block away from where the shooting occurred, according to the complaint, and he reportedly told his aunt he was responsible for the murder one day after it happened but later denied it.
He was arrested a few weeks later but had to be rushed to the hospital because he stabbed himself in the throat and wrist — instead of complying with police commands — when officers surrounded the St. Paul Avenue apartment where he was staying.
Ongoing plea negotiations
According to court records, plea negotiations between prosecuting and defense attorneys to resolve the case without a trial have been ongoing for some time.
Those negotiations had not concluded or led to a resolution as of Carl's most recent hearing July 1, court records show.
Meanwhile, Carl remains incarcerated at the Waukesha County Jail on a $500,000 cash bond.
His trial is scheduled to begin at 8:30 a.m. July 12 in front of Judge Ralph Ramirez.