Hearing date set in murder case

Suspects in Kempainen shooting to appear together

Garrett Neese/Daily Mining Gazette Margaret Kempainen is seen during a 97th District Court hearing Monday. She and her son Jacob Kempainen will have preliminary examinations on May 31 on charges of murdering Hancock Township resident Alvin Kempainen in December.

HOUGHTON — Two Wisconsin residents charged with the December murder of a Hancock Township man will appear in court together at the end of May.

The preliminary examinations for Margaret Kempainen, 50, and her son, Jacob Kempainen, 21, of Hartland, Wisconsin, were set for May 31.

During Margaret Kempainen’s hearing in 97th District Court Monday, Prosecutor Dan Helmer and attorney Antonio Ruiz asked for a date at the end of May when they could be certain nothing else was on the court docket.

Margaret Kempainen had been scheduled for a preliminary hearing Monday, while Jacob had been scheduled for a probable cause hearing.

The two are accused of conspiring to kill Alvin Kempainen, Jacob’s grandfather and Margaret’s father-in-law. The 86-year-old was found dead of a gunshot wound on Dec. 19.

The two were later arrested in Iowa.

They face charges of homicide – open murder and conspiracy to commit open murder. Jacob Kempainen, who his mother named as the shooter to police, has an additional felony firearms charge. If found guilty, they could each be sentenced to life in prison.

Both Kempainens were declared competent to stand trial this year after evaluations by a forensic psychiatrist.


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