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Life sentence given for slaying in Cudahy park

Oct. 6, 2011

A South Milwaukee man was sentenced Thursday to life in prison for the killing of an Oak Creek man whom he initially reported as missing but later admitted to police the victim had been pressing him to pay a drug debt.

Milwaukee County Circuit Judge Jeffrey Conen sentenced James Szuta to life in prison for the first-degree intentional homicide of John Weinhold, who was found shot to death in June 2010 inside a minivan near a Cudahy park.

Under the sentence, Szuta will be eligible for release under extended supervision after he serves 37 years.

Szuta initially told police Weinhold had been abducted, but investigators later learned that Szuta owed Weinhold money and linked him to Weinhold's killing through DNA evidence, according to the criminal complaint in the case.

Szuta eventually admitted to police that he bought drugs from Weinhold and said Weinhold was pressing him to pay his debt. He told police he knew Weinhold always carried a large amount of money.

Investigators also said in the compliant they found Weinhold's blood near the passenger seat of Szuta's uncle's truck.

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