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Man charged in Columbia County murder charged with armed robbery of Mauston hotel from 2019
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Man charged in Columbia County murder charged with armed robbery of Mauston hotel from 2019

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A Portage inmate facing murder charges from Columbia County is also facing felony charges in Juneau County after allegedly confessing in February to robbing a Mauston hotel at gunpoint in 2019.

Jason Kijewski, 43, of Portage is charged with felony armed robbery. If convicted he faces up to 40 years in prison or a fine of up to $100,000, or both.

According to the criminal complaint:

At about 1:52 a.m. Sept. 28, 2019, Sergeant Eric Sanner was riding with Officer Charles Immel when he was dispatched to a Mauston hotel for a female caller advising she had been robbed. While in route the officers were advised the caller was employed at a Mauston hotel, and the hotel was robbed using a firearm.

Upon arrival Sanner observed empty cash drawers on the counter. In the office area a “distraught employee” was identified as the victim.

The victim stated she was told by the suspect, who she initially described as a husky white or Hispanic 5’10” male, to go into the office. She stated the male entered the main entrance and asked for a room, and when told the hotel was full he produced a handgun from his pocket and demanded money. The employee complied and then contacted law enforcement after being told to wait in the office.

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Sanner made contact with the hotel general manager who arrived to access the security cameras. Juneau County Sheriff’s Deputies and a New Lisbon Police Officer searched the area for the suspect.

The surveillance footage showed a male about 6 feet tall enter the building where he stood at the front desk for a time then displays a handgun. The male appeared to weigh approximately 275 pounds. The employee handed him the money from the cash drawers behind the desk, and the suspect points the handgun at the employee the entire time she is handing over the money.

The suspect begins to leave, but then turns around and again points the handgun at the employee. The employee stated that he told her to enter the office. The suspect then leaves the hotel and drives away in a SUV or minivan type vehicle.

Detective Richard Lueneburg later reviewed surveillance video from local businesses and semi-tractors in the area. The license plate of the vehicle was not identifiable due to the quality of the video.

A Wisconsin Crime Alert was sent statewide in the case on Oct. 1, 2019 and a post was placed on the Mauston Police Department Facebook page on Oct. 24, 2019, asking for assistance identifying the suspect.

On March 1, 2021 Lueneburg had contact with Columbia County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Ben Oetzman. Lueneburg was informed a suspect was identified in the hotel armed robbery, and the suspect was identified as Jason Kijewski. At the time of Kijewski’s arrest he was wearing a sweatshirt that was identified as the exact sweatshirt worn during the armed robbery.

A handgun recovered from Kijewski’s residence was identified as the same gun he used during a homicide he allegedly committed in Columbia County, and matched the description of the handgun from surveillance footage from the armed robbery.

During an interview conducted at the Columbia County Jail, Kijewski reportedly confessed to robbing a hotel between Columbia and Jackson counties, and gave an accurate description of the robbery at the Mauston hotel. The confession included a description of the clerk and Kijewski said he believed he received about $200.

Reach Christopher Jardine on Twitter @ChrisJJardine or contact him at 608-432-6591.

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