Padilla Enters Not Guilty Plea in Superior Shooting

By KBJR News 1

July 15, 2013 Updated Jul 15, 2013 at 7:22 PM CDT

Superior, WI (NNCNOW.com) --- The Arizona man, charged with murdering a Duluth man in Superior in May, pleaded not guilty in Douglas County Court today.

41-year-old Juan Padilla sat quietly while his attorney, Patrick O'Neill pleaded him not guilty to 1st degree intentional homicide.

Padilla is accused of shooting 46-year-old Terrance Luukkonen in the head at Genesis Attachment's on Connor's Point in Superior while he was getting ready to go in to work.

Authorities say Luukkonen's fiancée, Christen Weir, was Padilla's former girlfriend

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

In court today, both District Attorney Dan Blank and Padilla's attorney Patrick Oneill set the stage for their case.

But Blank said it's too early for the parties In the case to really know the direction the prosecution will take.

O'Neill said the time between now and the next meeting will give the defense time to review the evidence the state has gathered and work on a clearer picture of where the case will head.

Blank says he hopes once O'Neill has reviewed the evidence his client will change his plea.

"I always hold out hope that a defendant that reviews a discovery that sees how strong the state's case is, would save the family of the victim the trauma and the stress of the trial process."

The court accepted Padilla's not guilty plea and scheduled the next court appearance for August 14.

The prosecution and defense requested a trial date be set, but Judge George Glonek said he wants to wait until both sides have had more time to review the evidence.

Blank told us it is pretty rare for a homicide case not to go to trial, but that decision mostly rests in the hands of the defense

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