Man accused in random 2019 Columbia Co. home break-in, murder rejects plea deal

PORTAGE, Wis. — The man accused of killing a man during a random Columbia County home break-in in 2019 is rejecting prosecutors’ latest offer at a plea deal.

Jason Kijewski of West Allis appeared in Columbia County court Tuesday for a plea hearing, but rejected what the state considered its “last best offer” for a plea.

Kijewski has been charged with first-degree intentional homicide and burglary while armed with a dangerous weapon after allegedly breaking into the home of Keith Wolf in the Town of Leeds in September 2019. Wolf and his wife were home when he reportedly went to check on a noise they heard in the basement.

According to the criminal complaint filed in the case, Kijewski shot Wolf in the head as he came down the stairs, carrying a gun of his own. Kijewski claimed he randomly picked the home to burglarize because he needed money, and had never visited Columbia County before that night and did not know Wolf. He also claimed he didn’t intend to kill anyone during the burglary.

RELATED: Criminal complaint details events leading up to random Columbia County home invasion, homicide

The case went nearly a year and a half without an arrest before Kijewski was taken into custody in March 2021, after DNA taken from the mask he was wearing during a police interview in January 2021 connected him to the scene.

Kijewski has been held in the Columbia Co. jail since his arrest on a $2 million cash bond. A jury trial in the case is tentatively scheduled to begin on May 3, 2022.