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Hearing delayed for Appleton man facing charges in death of wife

BENSON -- A hearing at which prosecutors are expected to outline their case against Andrew Gordon Lemcke, 34, of Appleton, has been rescheduled to May 15.

Lemcke faces first-degree, premeditated murder and second-degree, intentional murder charges in the Sept. 12, 2004, shooting death of his wife, Nichole Riley-Lemcke, 26.

Lemcke is currently free on conditions after posting $10,000 bail. He had waived extradition and returned from Arizona to appear in court Dec. 19.

The omnibus hearing at which the state will attempt to show there is probable cause for the charges was originally expected to be held in late February, had been set for March 9 and now has been rescheduled.

The case has been assigned to District Judge Jon Stafsholt of Glenwood. He heard motions on Feb. 5 by Lemcke asking for the release of all the evidence, names and testimony presented to two separate Swift County grand juries that have been convened in the case. The judge is expected to rule on the motions prior to the omnibus hearing.

A grand jury was convened in April 2005 but did not return a bill of indictment. A grand jury convened in November 2008 indicted Lemcke on the two charges.

Prosecutors have told the court that new evidence was presented to the second grand jury, and that it "pokes some holes'' in Lemcke's version of the fatal shooting. Prosecutors have not described what that new evidence is.

Lemcke denies any wrongdoing and maintains that the shooting death was accidental and occurred as he attempted to wrestle a handgun away from his wife in their Appleton home.

Nichole Riley-Lemcke's parents, Gary and Kim Riley of Montevideo, have pressed for criminal charges against Lemcke and had filed a wrongful death suit alleging that their daughter's marriage had soured and that she had told them: "If anything every happens to me, you know where to look.''