Conviction upheld in Marinette Co. murder case

Erik Smith appears in Marinette County court, Aug. 14, 2015. Smith was being sentenced for the 2008 homicide of Eric Volp. (WLUK/Jared Harrington)

(WLUK) – A state appeals court Tuesday upheld Erik Smith’s conviction for the 2008 death of Eric Volp.

Volp’s body was found in a Marinette County creek in July, 2009. Smith eventually agreed to a plea deal and was sentenced to 25 years in prison.

Smith appealed, arguing Wisconsin courts didn’t have territorial jurisdiction – suggesting Volp was killed in Michigan.

“In this case, both the criminal complaint and the plea hearing transcript definitively show that a sufficient factual basis existed supporting territorial jurisdiction in Wisconsin,” the court wrote. “Given this record, it is impossible to view the State as having failed to reasonably allege, as a factual matter and prior to Smith’s pleas, that the crimes of negligent homicide and hit and run occurred in the State of Wisconsin… Instead, he acknowledged being aware of the State’s allegations, including those regarding the situs of the offenses, and entered his guilty pleas based upon the charges as read. Under the circumstances, we conclude territorial jurisdiction existed in Wisconsin as to each of the charged offenses, and we perceive no manifest injustice that would warrant plea withdrawal.”

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