Man charged in random 2019 Columbia County murder pleads guilty

PORTAGE, Wis. — A man charged with killing a Columbia County man inside his home more than three years ago has reached a plea deal with prosecutors less than a week before his trial was set to start.

Under the terms of the latest deal, 45-year-old Jason Kijewski pleaded guilty Wednesday to a single charge of first-degree intentional homicide for his role in the death of Keith Wolf in September 2019. In exchange for his guilty plea, prosecutors agreed to drop a burglary while armed charge.

Prosecutors also agreed to not object to any requests for extended supervision after 30 years if Kijewski is found eligible at his sentencing hearing. His sentencing is scheduled for 9 a.m. on Dec. 5.

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

Prosecutors alleged that Kijewski shot Wolf in the head as Wolf walked into his basement to check on a noise he and his wife heard. Kijewski claimed he randomly picked Wolf’s home to burglarize because he needed money; he also told authorities he had never been to Columbia County before that night, did not know Wolf, and did not intend to kill anyone during the burglary.

Investigators spent nearly a year and a half looking for the suspect before ultimately arresting Kijewski in March 2021 after DNA taken from the mask he was wearing during a police interview in January 2021 connected him to the scene.

Earlier this year, Kijewski rejected a separate plea deal that prosecutors at the time called their “last best offer.” Prior to accepting his final plea deal, Kijewski was scheduled to stand trial starting Nov. 29.