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Prokopovitz trial set for October, 7 years after wife’s disappearance

Photo: Brown County Jail
Photo: Brown County Jail(WBAY)
Published: Sep. 8, 2020 at 4:52 PM CDT
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - A man accused of killing his wife who disappeared in 2013 is headed for trial next month. The Brown County Circuit Court set aside two weeks for James Prokopovitz’s trial starting October 12 at a status hearing on Tuesday.

The court told both sides to present any motions, witness lists, and proposed jury instructions by October 5, with jury selection scheduled for October 9.

Victoria Prokopovitz was last seen at her home in Pittsfield on April 25, 2013. The next day, James reported his wife missing to the sheriff’s office, saying she suffered from depression and he was afraid she’d taken her own life somewhere near the home. Court documents say initially he talked about a “panicked” search for Victoria. A sheriff’s K9 searched their rural farm property and its numerous outbuildings. Investigators didn’t see any shoe prints in the soil, indicating Victoria, who had a bad leg, didn’t walk away from her home.

Investigators say James went to work after reporting Victoria missing. He never mentioned it to his coworkers, and his coworkers said he didn’t act any differently, either. Weeks later, James was in a romantic relationship with an old girlfriend. Investigators also say his story changed over time, particularly when investigators pointed out inconsistencies. Family members claimed James would tell them Victoria "is never coming back” and they were “wasting their time” searching for her.

James Prokopovitz, 75, is charged with first-degree intentional homicide with a domestic abuse modifier, carrying a mandatory life prison sentence if he’s found guilty. He’s also charged with perjury before a court and resisting or obstructing an officer.

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