COLUMBIA COUNTY — A West Allis man was charged with first-degree intentional homicide in the death of a Columbia County man in 2019. Prosecutors say a face mask helped them narrow down the West Allis man, Jason A. Kijewski, as the suspect in the homicide.
Kijewski, 43, was charged with first-degree intentional homicide and armed burglary in Columbia County Court on Wednesday. If found guilty, he could spend the rest of his life in prison and face $50,000 in fines.
According to a criminal complaint released Wednesday, a Columbia County Sheriff's Office lieutenant was sent to a home on Bradley Road in the Township of Leeds in Columbia County around 9:22 p.m. on Sept. 27, 2019.
There, the lieutenant found a man lying at the bottom of the stairs to the home's basement, with blood flowing from his head and torso and a pistol next to his hand. The body of the man was later identified by authorities as Keith R. Wolf, though the complaint identified him as Victim 1.
The victim's wife told authorities that they were watching television with their daughter when they heard a noise in the basement. Wolf got up and retrieved a pistol, and then proceeded to the basement, the complaint states.
The wife said that she heard her husband say 'you mother******' and then heard a gunshot. She went to the top of the basement and reported seeing her husband lying at the bottom of the stairs. She then heard the basement door to the outside slam, according to prosecutors.
The county's medical examiner pronounced the victim dead the next day.
Neighboring Dane County's medical examiner's office collected a number of pieces of evidence during an autopsy, including a bullet inside the victim's head. They later ruled the death a homicide.
Detectives further found evidence of a particular kind of shoe worn at the scene, the Brooks brand running shoes.
The Wisconsin State Crime lab then reported they obtained partial male DNA from the scene of the crime, which did not belong to the victim or his wife.
Meanwhile, Columbia County Sheriff's Office detectives identified a potential suspect, Jason Kijewski, who lives in West Allis.
West Allis police interviewed Kijewski, and provided him with an unused face mask. At the end of the interview, police had the suspect place the used mask in an empty trash can. That mask was then brought to the Wisconsin State Crime Lab, authorities say.
Analysts there were able to identify a single male profile from the mask that was consistent with the DNA recovered from the crime scene, the complaint states.
Investigators executed a search warrant at Kijewski's home on Feb. 25. There they found a handgun, which was later confirmed with the State Lab as the same gun used at the scene of the homicide, according to prosecutors.
During a second interview, Kijewski admitted to investigators he had shot the victim, the complaint states. He said it wasn't his plan to, and that he intended to "rob someone" because he needed money.
Kijewski said he came upon the farm in Leeds and broke into the basement. He said he was trying to be as quiet as possible, but the victim came running down the stairs with his gun, according to the complaint.
Kijewski told prosecutors he fired his own gun at the victim, and the victim hit the ground, prosecutors say. Kijewski said he then took off running.
Kijewski added that the kind of shoe previously detected at the scene belonged to him, the complaint states.
Bond was set at $2 million for Kijewski. He is set to be back in court for his pre-trial conference on April 5 and his preliminary hearing on April 23.