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Suspect called wife to confess murder

Within minutes of shooting his 19-year-old former girlfriend in the parking lot of the St. Croix County Government Center, Christopher Ledesma called his wife Danielle and allegedly admitted to the murder.

The information is part of the criminal complaint filed Tuesday by the St. Croix County District Attorney's office which charges the Woodbury man with the intentional homicide of Kelly Lynn Dahm on Sept. 20.

According to the complaint, Ledesma, 29, contacted his estranged wife, Danielle Ledesma, while she was at her boyfriend's in Fond du Lac, and said "I did it." When she asked what he did, he responded by saying, "I shot her." When Danielle, who police say lives in the Hudson area with her parents, asked if Dahm was OK, Ledesma said "No. She is dead. I put three in her head." He then told her that Dahm's body could be found in his car at the government center.

The shooting took place around 2:30 p.m. but police did not discover Dahm's body until around 10:30 p.m. on Saturday when they were alerted to look for it by Woodbury police who had Ledesma in custody. According to the complaint Danielle told her parents about Ledesma's phone confession that afternoon. The parents reportedly then drove to the government center and saw Ledesma's car but neither they nor Danielle called police.

The complaint also says investigators have spoken with at least two witnesses who heard shots and saw an "agitated" man near the car around the time of the shooting.

The complaint also details how Ledesma, a convicted felon, got the gun he is suspected of using in the murder. Investigators say that four days before the shooting, Ledesma and his wife Danielle went to a Woodbury sporting goods store to buy a .38 caliber handgun.

Danielle Ledesma said she bought the gun for her husband because he said "someone was out to get him and he needed protection."

Investigators say Dahm was waiting in the car while the couple were inside buying the gun that was used to kill her four days later. Dahm and Ledesma had an on-and-off again relationship for two years. She had lived with him but had moved out and back to her parents' home the day before she was shot. Investigators believe the break-up was the motive for the murder.

Ledesma is currently being held in the Washington County Jail in Stillwater on probation violations including possession of a weapon.

He was convicted in 1996 of stabbing three men at a Somerset campground and served four years in prison. He is awaiting extradition to Wisconsin to face the murder charge here. If convicted, he faces life in prison.

More details about the case will appear in the Oct. 23 newspaper.

Meg Heaton

Meg Heaton has been a reporter with the Hudson Star Observer since 1990. She has a bachelor’s degree in anthropology and Native American Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

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