Zelich waives right to preliminary hearing, requests new judge

CREATED Aug 15, 2014

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KENOSHA -- The former cop accused in the suitcase murders was in a Kenosha County courtroom Friday morning.

It was a preliminary hearing for a murder charge. Steven Zelich, 52, is accused of killing Jenny Gamez, 19, at a motel in Kenosha in 2012. Court documents said he admitted to meeting her and another woman through bondage websites and that they died during sex.

Investigators said they think Zelich kept Gamez' body in his refrigerator for months and then dumped her in a suitcase on the side of the road in the Town of Geneva earlier this summer.

Zelich waived his right to a preliminary hearing today, but his lawyer isn't going into detail why. 

"We have the opportunity now, having gotten past the preliminary hearing, that we can finally get the police reports," said defense attorney Jonathan Smith. "I have the reports from Walworth County. Kenosha County is going to have many of the same reports."
Smith filed a request for a substitution of a new judge, the honorable Bruce Schrader, because he feels he has the most experience in a case like this.
"I will say that Mr. Zelich presented a very reasoned thought process concerning the preliminary hearing," he said. "I advise all my clients of the pros and cons."

Zelich is also accused of killing a woman in Minnesota, but so far no charges have been filed for her death.