Murder Charge Upheld in Superior Shooting

By KBJR News 1

June 19, 2013 Updated Jun 20, 2013 at 12:17 AM CDT

Superior, WI (NNCNOW.com) --- A Douglas County judge has ruled that there's enough evidence to charge an Arizona man with First Degree murder for a death in Superior.

In this case against 41-year-old Juan Padilla Judge George Glonek ruled that the charge of first degree intentional homicide, should stand.

Padilla is accused of shooting 46-year-old Terrance Luukonen in the head at Genesis Attachments on Connor's Point in Superior on May 23.
Authorities say Luukkonen's fiancée, Christen Weir, was Padilla's former girlfriend.

They claim he killed Luukkonen because he was upset that Weir had broken up with him and agreed to marry Luukkonen.

Weer and investigators with the Superior Police Department testified that evidence puts Padilla at the scene of the crime.

Surveillance video confirmed Padilla's vehicle had been driving through the Genesis parking lot for three days prior to the murder and it was seen leaving the scene the day of the murder.

Two Winchester 40 caliber shell casings were found outside Luukkonen's S-U-V.

Those shells matched a receipt for ammunition found in Padilla's hotel room.

A menu was also found in Padilla's hotel room with the address of Genesis Attachments written on it.

Douglas County District Attorney Dan Blank credits the quick work of law enforcement and witnesses in making this a solid case.

"We think we have beyond a reasonable doubt which is the standard when we go to trial and we wanted to make sure that everyone saw key pieces of evidence that show that," said Blank.

The night of the murder authorities served a search warrant at the Allendale Motel in Duluth and arrested Padilla without incident.

Defense attorneys for Padilla tried to challenge the motion at Wednesday's hearing. They claimed there were discrepancies in testimony given at the hearing by police investigators when questioned by the defense and the prosecution.

The judge disagreed and upheld the murder charge.

His next court appearance is scheduled for July 15 at 11 a.m.

Written and Posted to the web by Raeanna Marnati
rmarnati@kbjr.com