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DNA on McDonald’s cup links Milwaukee woman to husband’s 2020 execution-style killing

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DNA on McDonald’s cup links Milwaukee woman to husband’s 2020 execution-style killing


Cassandra Hult and Jose Santiago fought a lot during their short but turbulent marriage.

Santiago would turn up dead in a Milwaukee cemetery after an especially intense argument with his wife years ago.

Hult was questioned several times by police, but wasn’t arrested. She eventually left the state and carved out a new life for herself in the Southwest.

Prosecutors say in court papers Hult confessed to her house mates and a new lover she was the one who pulled the trigger, and killed Santiago, 27.

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Hult, 28, was in a Milwaukee County courtroom Monday, some four years after Santiago’s execution-style slaying, answering to charges she shot her husband in the back of the head and left for him dead.

She is charged with first-degree reckless homicide. The charge against Hult also includes a modifier for use of a dangerous weapon, which means she can be subject to additional penalties if she is convicted.

During a preliminary hearing Monday, Circuit Court Judge Jeffrey A. Wagner found there was sufficient probable cause to bind the case against Hult over for trial.

Hult pleaded not guilty through her attorney, Theodore O’Reilly, of Milwaukee.

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Her bond was set at $500,000. She remained locked up at the Milwaukee County Jail.

Hult’s next court appearance is set for July 10.

More: Suspect in death of mother of 10 is back in Wisconsin. Here’s what we know

More: Chrystul Kizer pleads guilty in 2018 Kenosha County homicide, avoids possible life sentence

Here’s what authorities believe happened:

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According to a May 6 criminal complaint, a jogger spotted a black Lincoln LS as she ran through St. Adalbert Cemetery on March 22, 2020. A man was sitting in the driver’s seat. She didn’t think much of it and kept going.

The next day, she jogged through the cemetery in the early afternoon and saw the vehicle again in the same spot. She went through the cemetery around 6 p.m. and, again, it appeared to not have moved.

The jogger approached the car window and saw the person inside was unresponsive and called 911.

The man had been shot in the back of the head. A spent casing from a .380 pistol was found in the rear driver’s side seat. 

Milwaukee police Detective Jake Puschnig testified Monday that forensic testing conducted on two McDonald’s cups found in the car turned up fingerprints and DNA for both Santiago and Hult.

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More: ‘Justice system failed,’ judge says as Milwaukee man gets life for killing woman in 2022 during argument

Hult told investigators she and Santiago had been married for about a year and a half, and that they often fought.

One of those fights erupted on the morning of March 22, 2020.

She said they argued that day when she found texts on Santiago’s phone with other women and confronted him. Hult told investigators Santiago kicked her out of the car, and that afterwards she went to stay at her grandmother’s home on Milwaukee’s north side.

She mentioned nothing about going to McDonald’s.

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Cellphone tower records show both Santiago and Hult’s phones were in the same general area at the time the jogger first spotted Santiago in his car, according to the complaint.

Hult also gave inconsistent accounts on what else she did that day, the complaint said.

More: Facing mostly white juries, are Milwaukee County defendants of color truly judged by their peers?

Hult resurfaced a year later in Buckeye, Arizona, where she had been with a woman and her daughter. Hult got into a heated argument on Sept. 27, 2021 with the woman, who told Hult to leave. She left, but the war of words continued on FaceTime.

During the argument, Hult threatened to kill the woman and blurted out that she had killed her husband back in Milwaukee, the criminal complaint said.

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The woman’s daughter also told Buckeye detectives Hult confessed to her she executed her husband and left him on the south side, according to the complaint. 

On May 2, a man told police he had met Hult in Las Vegas in January 2022 and that they quickly began a romantic relationship. Shortly afterwards, she moved in with him in Sacramento, California. While he was in a relationship with her, Hult confessed “multiple times” that she killed her husband, the criminal complaint said.

A warrant for Hult’s arrest was issued May 6, court records show.



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Milwaukee, WI

Milwaukee police investigate a non-fatal shooting Sunday night

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Milwaukee police investigate a non-fatal shooting Sunday night


MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee Police Department is investigating the non-fatal shooting of a 33-year-old Sunday evening.

At about 4:45 MPD responded to a call for a shooting and found the victim, but it is unknown where the shooting took place.

The victim was taken to the hospital and is expected to survive.

Anyone with information can call MPD at (414) 935-7360, or can make an anonymous tip at (414) 224-Tips.

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5 things to know and do the week of June 24 | Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service

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5 things to know and do the week of June 24 | Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service


Volunteers gather for a workday at Green Tech Station in May. The next one will take place at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, June 26. (Photo provided by Northwest Side Community Development Corp.)

It’s Monday in Milwaukee, and here are some things we think you should know about. If you would like your event to be considered for this column, please submit your news by clicking here at least two weeks in advance.

Join VIA Community Development Corp. to examine infrastructure and the conditions of buildings that are along public sidewalks. During this walk, you can also network with neighbors, business owners, neighborhood groups and others. It will take place from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Monday, June 24 at 3524 W. National Ave. More information here. 

You are invited to the Mil-Book-ee Book Club, led by the Milwaukee County Historical Society, from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Monday, June 24 at 910 N. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. You will read and discuss a book called, “Finding Freedom: The Untold Story of Joshua Glover, Runaway Slave.” You may bring your own copy of the book or purchase one at the gift shop. More information here. 

Green Tech Station invites you to volunteer for a land conservation day. You will pick up trash, prune trees and more. Work will begin at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, June 26 at 4101 N. 31st St. Lunch and tools will be provided. Registration is required. More information here. 

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From 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Thursday, June 27, teens are invited to personalize a necklace or keychain with a constellation of stars and enjoy music at the Milwaukee Public Library Zablocki Branch, 3501 W. Oklahoma Ave. Materials will be provided. More information here. 

In observance of National HIV Testing Day, the City of Milwaukee Health Department, Greater Than HIV and Walgreens are partnering to provide free rapid HIV testing and resources to the public. The event will take place from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursday, June 27 at 6442 N. 76th St. More information here. 

People of all faiths and no faith, all spiritualities and theologies are invited to participate in a moderated discussion about their lived experiences and the role of faith and/or no spirituality in their lives. This discussion will take place at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, June 26 at St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, 2812 W. Wisconsin Ave. Register here.  More information here.

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How much did it rain in Wisconsin, Milwaukee on Saturday?

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How much did it rain in Wisconsin, Milwaukee on Saturday?


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The storms that moved through Wisconsin Saturday night — which included tornadoes in some areas of southern Wisconsin — brought heavy rain totals in much of the state.

Here’s a rundown of the most recent rainfall totals from Saturday and Sunday in Milwaukee and throughout Wisconsin, according to the National Weather Service volunteer monitoring service:

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How much did it rain in the Milwaukee area?

Milwaukee: 1.1 to 1.6 inches

Whitefish Bay: 1.6 inches

Wauwatosa: 1.7 inches

West Allis: 1 inch

Cudahy: 0.8 inch

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Greendale: 1.33 inches

New Berlin: 1.07 inches

Muskego: 1.18 inches

Waukesha: 2.5 inches

Oconomowoc: 4.16 inches

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Hartland: 1.9 inches

Menomonee Falls: 2.1 inches

Mequon: 2.5 inches

Cedarburg: 1.2 inches

How much did it rain in Wisconsin?

Madison: 1.17 to 2.84 inches

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Sun Prairie: 4.14 inches

Watertown: 3.14 inches

Janesville: 2.91 inches

Beloit: 3.8 inches

Portage: 5.11 inches

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La Crosse: 1.42 inches

Eau Claire: 2.08 inches

Wausau: 3.40 inches

Plover: 2.21 inches

Fond du Lac: 3.18 inches

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Oshkosh: 3.11 inches

Sheboygan: 2.76 inches

Manitowoc: 3.53 inches

Appleton: 2.03 inches

Green Bay: 1.62 inches

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Sister Bay: 1.8 inches

Racine: 1.08 inches

Kenosha: 1.64 inches



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