The suspects first started plotting to kill Daniel Raven in November, the complaint states. The document doesn't detail the previous homicide attempts, but it does say one attempt was stymied when one suspect tried to shoot Raven from outside his Barron house but the rifle jammed, the Eau Claire Leader-Telegram reported.
Three people are charged with being party to first-degree intentional homicide, including the victim's ex-wife, 29-year-old Trista M. Raven-Hrabak. Prosecutors said she and Raven had gone through a "tumultuous" divorce and were still arguing about money.
According to the complaint, her boyfriend, 34-year-old Ian J. Skjerly of Rice Lake, agreed to kill Raven. They got in touch with Robert B. McBain, 37, a Cameron man who bragged that he'd been involved in similar incidents in Chicago that involved killing two people and driving getaway cars.
John Hinde, who is listed in online court records as the attorney for all three, didn't immediately respond to a phone message left Tuesday at his office by The Associated Press. Each defendant is being held on $250,000 cash bond and has a preliminary hearing scheduled for Monday.
According to prosecutors, McBain drove Skjerly to the victim's home on the evening of March 10. Skjerly saw Raven watching TV inside but when he tried to fire his .30-06 caliber semi-automatic rifle it jammed.
Skjerly panicked and ran back to the car, the complaint alleges. McBain drove him a short distance away so Skjerly could clear his rifle, and when they returned to the house Skjerly fired two shots, prosecutors contend.
A woman who was sleeping inside with two young children heard the noise and found Raven's bloodied body. He had large wounds to the left side of his head and his left arm.