NEW INFO: Mertes Murder Suspect Bound Over for Trial

By: WSAW Staff
By: WSAW Staff

The man charged with murdering Rhonda Mertes in 1999 will stand trial.

Doug Kelley, who was the medical examiner at the time of the killing, testified that the cause of death was blunt force trauma to the head, neck and chest.

Former Wausau police detective Charlie Jones said two concrete blocks - one of which had blood on it - were found near Mertes' body.

Kelley also said she was strangled and that her right arm and left leg were bruised.

Officials are now working to schedule an arraignment, in which the defendant enters a plea, next week for James Emerson.

Emerson, 43, of Wausau is charged with first-degree intentional homicide with a party-to-a-crime qualifier.

He was arrested in May after forensic testing matched his DNA to DNA found on Mertes body.

Her body was found on Wausau's east side in December 1999.

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