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Cold case solved: Inmate charged in 1985 Wisconsin Rapids murder

Donald Wayne Maier, now 60, has been charged with first-degree murder in the homicide of Benny Scruggs.
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Posted at 7:02 PM, Sep 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-07 20:02:04-04

WISCONSIN RAPIDS, Wis. — The Wisconsin Department of Justice announced Wednesday a man has been charged with murder in a 37-year-old cold case.

Donald Wayne Maier, now 60, has been charged with first-degree murder in the homicide of Benny Scruggs. The Wisconsin DOJ says Scruggs, 29, was stabbed to death in his home on Travis Drive in Wisconsin Rapids on July 17, 1985. A neighbor who was alerted by Scruggs' wife Yvonne called the police after the incident.

According to the Associated Press, Wayne Maier is serving 15 years in prison for six counts of stalking in an unrelated case.

The Wisconsin Rapids Police Department led the investigation, which stayed dormant until Wayne Maier brought attention back to police in March of 2012. The Associated Press reports Wayne Maier confessed the murder to fellow inmates and said he was having an affair with Scruggs' wife.

“Wisconsin DOJ is proud to work with law enforcement agencies across the state to pursue justice,” said Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul. “Thank you to the prosecutors, investigators, and scientists whose tireless work has resulted in this 37-year-old case being charged.”

The Criminal Litigation Unit of the Division of Legal Services of Wisconsin DOJ will handle the prosecution.

Wayne Maier will have his initial appearance in Wood County Circuit Court on Friday at 1:30 p.m.

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