Inmate charged in murder-for-hire case appears in court

MILWAUKEE -- Milwaukee County Sheriff's detectives have uncovered a plan by an inmate at the County Correctional Facility to hire someone to kill his ex-girlfriend's grandson, and kill the ex-girlfriend himself when released later this month.

66-year-old Gerald Lipski was formally charged Wednesday by the District Attorney's Office with solicitation of first degree intentional homicide, domestic abuse. Lipski appeared in court on these charges Thursday, March 15th.

On Thursday morning, a court commissioner established a $50,000 cash bail for Lipski. He's also to have no access to phone, text or email while in custody.

If convicted, Lipski faces up to 12 1/2 years in prison. Authorities say Lipski was set to make a plea on bail jumping and disorderly conduct charges next week in another case.

In court Thursday, Lipski complained that he's a sick man, getting no treatment for a serious illness - stage three lung cancer.

Officials say Lipski indicated he wanted the ex-girlfriend's grandson's throat slit and was willing to pay $500. According to the criminal complaint in the case, Lipski constantly talked to another inmate about killing his ex-girlfriend when he got out of jail, and having someone else kill her grandson. Authorities had this inmate act as a middleman between Lipski and a hit man, who was actually a detective. In a recorded conversation, Lipski made the deal to pay the detective to kill the grandson.

Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke says these jailhouse conversations aren't unusual. "(Inmates) like to talk about what they've done and what they will do, and it's overheard by other people. It's not just a one-on-one conversation. We get information all the time, and we look at all of it," Sheriff Clarke said.

This is the second murder-for-hire case involving an inmate at the County Correctional Facility in the past eight months.