Ex-cop officer waives hearing in suitcase slaying

Steven Zelich appears in a Walworth County courtroom for his preliminary hearing Thursday, July 3, 2014, in Elkhorn.
Steven Zelich appears in a Walworth County courtroom for his preliminary hearing Thursday, July 3, 2014, in Elkhorn. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps)

KENOSHA, Wis. (AP) – A former police officer accused of killing two women and hiding their remains in a pair of suitcases is headed to trial after waiving his preliminary hearing in southern Wisconsin.

Steven Zelich is charged with first-degree homicide and hiding a corpse in Kenosha County, where he’s accused of killing Jenny Gamez, of Cottage Grove, Oregon.

A criminal complaint says the 52-year-old former West Allis officer killed the 19-year-old college student during a sexual choking game and then hid her body in his home and car for months before dumping it in Walworth County in early June.

Prosecutors typically use a complaint during a preliminary hearing as the basis to convince a judge to hold someone for trial.

Zelich also is a suspect in the death of a Farmington, Minnesota, woman.

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