Controversial Deal In Douglas County WI: 7.5 Years for Body Dismemberment – Outcry Erupts as Justice for Ricky Balsimo Jr. Hangs in the Balance


In a shocking turn of events, the recent sentencing of Jacob Colt Johnson, convicted in the gruesome murder of Ricky Balsimo Jr., has ignited controversy and calls for justice. Johnson, found guilty of second-degree murder, received the maximum statutory sentence of 40 years at the Cook County Courthouse for the killing that took place nearly two years ago.

The trial revealed that Johnson had fired several shots at Balsimo while they were passengers in an SUV driving around the Twin Cities. Johnson then returned to the Duluth area with Balsimo’s body in the backseat, later dismembering it in a borrowed RV parked on rural Wisconsin land.

Retiring Cook County Judge Michael Cuzzo, in delivering the maximum sentence, considered aggravating factors such as the dismemberment and concealment of the body, as found by a St. Louis County jury.

The Balsimo family, through their own investigation aided by private investigators, discovered that Ricky Balsimo’s body had been dumped in Lake Superior, about a mile from the shore in Grand Portage, Minnesota.

During the trial, five members of the Balsimo family provided victim impact statements, highlighting the loss experienced by Ricky’s three sons who are now left without a father.

However, recent developments have fueled outrage on the “Justice for Ricky” page run by the Balsimo family. On December 29, 2023, a post expressed disappointment with the Wisconsin justice system, stating, “We thought Wisconsin was going to do something; they failed us.” Another post raised questions about the plea deal Johnson is allegedly receiving and urged supporters to take action.

According to the Facebook post, Mark Freuhauf in Douglas County is reportedly dropping the gun charge and repeat offender charge against Johnson, offering a plea deal for the charge of dismemberment, which carries a maximum sentence of 7 1/2 years. The post claims that if Johnson were to reject the plea deal and go to trial, he could face up to 22 years in prison.

The Balsimo family and their supporters are now rallying for community support, urging people to email Mark Freuhauf and demand that he does not accept the plea deal. The family expresses a desire to go to trial, emphasizing that there is ample evidence for a fair and just legal process.

The plea deal has raised concerns about the pursuit of justice and accountability, with accusations that it falls short of addressing the severity of the crime. Supporters argue that justice for Ricky Balsimo Jr. requires a trial that fully examines the evidence and holds all involved parties accountable for their actions.

The controversy surrounding the plea deal has reignited public interest in the case, with a call for court support and action on the horizon as the community seeks answers and justice for the victim, Ricky Balsimo Jr.

Click this link to read the full story from the beginning of the case.

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