Father, son plead not guilty in family murder-for-hire case

Joseph and Jason Hoppa
Published: Apr. 19, 2023 at 9:09 AM CDT
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GREEN LAKE, Wis. (WBAY) - A father and son accused of plotting to kill another son, who was in line for a family inheritance, both pleaded not guilty to a charge of being party to the crime of soliciting for first-degree intentional homicide.

Prosecutors say Joseph Hoppa, 62, and his son Jason Hoppa, 39, offered a person money to “take out” the victim. The criminal complaint alleges the Hoppas offered the intended hitman $20,000 in advance and $20,000 when the murder was done.

The would-be hitman went to authorities. He said Jason Hoppa had “lots of firearms” and was going to file the serial number off of one of the guns to make it untraceable. Jason Hoppa is additionally charged with six counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm. He pleaded not guilty to those charges, too.

The complaint says Joseph Hoppa was upset the son was going to be the primary beneficiary of a family estate. The informant told police during a meeting, Joseph Hoppa asked if they could “kill someone and get away with it.”

The intended hitman said he asked, “What happened to blood is thicker than water?”

The elder Hoppa replied, “No love here. I have no love for this kid... He’s got to go, no ifs, and or buts, he’s got to f---ing go.”

The complaint says Jason Hoppa gave him information about cameras on the property and how he could “pop” the victim and walk away.

The informant later backed out of helping investigators but agreed to record a phone call. Joseph Hoppa said, “I kinda think I wouldn’t wanna have anybody done, but there are other things that could be done later on. Right now I gotta wait ‘til everything gets done and I get paid. Otherwise, I wouldn’t get anything.”

Hoppa told officers in 2022 that his father had died in January and left everything to his son, who prosecutors say was the intended victim. Joseph stated he believed the split between him and his son would have been 50/50.

However, Hoppa denied wanting to hurt his son, saying “No, I am a Christian” and “I wouldn’t do something like that.”

Hoppa did admit to having conversations with the intended hitman. He denied wanting the man to hurt his son. He said it was the informant who talked about harming his son.

Jason Hoppa denied that he wanted his brother dead, but admitted that he and his dad were upset with his brother because they believe he had manipulated the grandfather into handing over the estate.

During the search warrant, officers recovered a Beretta Grandone VT that had the serial numbers ground off. They also found a 20-gauge sawed-off shotgun, according to the complaint.