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Man accused of killing Kelly Dwyer charged with new crime; informant says he confessed to homicide

Posted at 6:59 PM, Sep 13, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-13 21:55:57-04

MILWAUKEE -- The man accused of killing Kelly Dwyer back in 2013 was in court Thursday morning after new charges came down against him.

Prosecutors argued Kris Zocco solicited a cellmate to intimidate a witness expected to testify at trial. If convicted of the new charge, Zocco could serve an additional six years behind bars.

According to the prosecution, Zocco didn’t want an ex-girlfriend speaking against him at trial and asked his cellmate at the time for “help."

“The defendant in this matter was attempting to obtain the services of another individual to intimidate a witness," Prosecutor Sarah Hill said.  

Zocco was Kelly Dwyer's ex-boyfriend. He's currently in prison serving time for an unrelated child porn case and is set to go on trial for Dwyer's murder in September. His defense attorneys said the witness at the center of the new charge isn't credible. 

“I have great concern with a case based entirely on an inmate jailhouse, snitch, informant,” Craig Mastantuono, Zocco's defense attorney, said.

According to the criminal complaint Zocco also confessed to the killing of Dwyer telling his former cellmate he accidentally killed her while having rough sex and later hid her body.

The defense said the state abused its discretion with the new complaint including information that might influence a potential jury pool.

“It got a batch of headlines across the Journal Sentinel and all of the newspaper stations yesterday, all of them saying, 'Kris Zocco confesses to homicide case,' Mastantuono said. 

But the judge said the credibility of a witness can’t be decided at an initial appearance, and after reading the criminal complaint the court found sufficient probable cause and denied the defenses motion to dismiss the charge.

Trial is set to begin September 24th.