Man faces trial in 1994 Wisconsin murder case

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A judge ordered an Indiana man to stand trial for the 1994 death of a woman who was strangled and run over with a car in Madison, Wisconsin.

Dane County Circuit Judge Valerie Bailey-Rihn said during a hearing Thursday that there’s enough evidence for 52-year-old Willie L. Coleman to be tried for first-degree reckless homicide in the Nov. 4 death Lula Cunnigan, 40.

Coleman came to investigators’ attention in 2015, when he was convicted of a felony in Indiana and had his DNA collected. The Wisconsin State Journal reports Coleman’s DNA was then matched to Madison’s unsolved homicide.

Police interviewed Coleman in 2016 and twice in 2018 and he initially said he didn’t know Cunnigan but later admitted having rough sex with her in a van, according to investigators.

Coleman’s attorneys tried to dismiss the case, arguing that prosecutors have thin evidence against their client.

“There is nothing to show that she died at the hands of Willie Coleman,” Erin Nagy, one of Coleman’s attorneys, told Judge Bailey-Rihn. The judge disagreed and rejected the request for dismissal.

A trial date has not been set.

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