A federal judge on Friday released one of two brothers jailed earlier this month for allegedly planning to murder an Idaho state trooper but bound the other over for trial.
U.S. District Court Judge Ronald Boyce determined at a preliminary hearing Friday that there was insufficient evidence to continue holding Michael Wicklund, 37, Downey, Idaho.Eric Wicklund, 33, Ogden, was bound over on charges of conspiracy and plotting "to commit murder-for-hire for pecuniary value" in a complaint filed by the U.S. attorney's office.
The two were arrested in Downey Aug. 4 by the FBI and state agents after allegedly buying a gun from an undercover officer.
Prosecutors contend that Eric Wicklund plotted to kill Idaho State Police trooper Robert Laumann. Eric Wicklund is married to Laumann's ex-wife and allegedly wanted the trooper dead so she could gain custody of the children, who live with their father, and proceeds from his life insurance.
According to the criminal complaint, Eric Wicklund allegedly asked his older brother to help him kill the trooper.
Eric Wicklund allegedly offered to do hired hits for $5,000 a murder unless the victims were "somebodies," in which case the price jumped to $50,000.
"Wicklund intended to murder seven to nine people per month, earning vast sums of money," the indictment said.
In the criminal complaint against Michael Wicklund thrown out Friday, prosecutors said his compensation was to be the $2,000 worth of Herbal Life products that his younger brother would buy from him each month.
Michael Wicklund is an unemployed mechanic and water-softener repairman.