‘Monfils 6’ Exclusive: Rey Moore released from prison

By Emily Matesic, WBAY Staff | Posted: Tue 11:03 AM, Jul 02, 2019  | Updated: Wed 10:38 AM, Jul 03, 2019

WAUPUN, Wis. (WBAY) – UPDATE 7/3:

Michael Johnson was released from prison Wednesday morning.

A man convicted in one of the most notorious murder cases in Northeast Wisconsin was released from prison Tuesday morning.

Rey Moore, one of the so-called “Monfils 6”, walked out of John C. Burke Correctional Center in Waupun a free man.

In 1995, the 72-year-old was sentenced to life in prison for the killing of Tom Monfils at a Green Bay paper facility. Prosecutors said Moore and five other men conspired to kill Monfils as an act of revenge.

Rey Moore served 24 years of that sentence until the parole board granted his release.

Action 2 News was the only local news organization at the prison as Moore walked out of the gates just after 8 a.m. He didn’t stop to talk to our camera crews. Instead, he loaded his belongings on a pickup truck and drove away from Waupun.

THE MONFILS 6 CASE

It was 1992 when Tom Monfils’ body was found in a pulp vat at the James River Mill in Green Bay. Investigators said Monfils had been beaten and a weight had been tied around his neck.

Three years later, police arrested suspects later dubbed the “Monfils 6.” Keith Kutska, Michael Hirn, Rey Moore, Dale Basten, Michael Piaskowski, and Michael Johnson were charged with 1st Degree Intentional Homicide.

The prosecution said the men conspired to kill Monfils, who had heard co-worker Keith Kutska talk about stealing an electrical cord from the mill. It is alleged that Monfils reported it to police, but his anonymity was compromised when Keith Kutska obtained a tape of the call made by Monfils.

The prosecution accused Kutska and the other men of forming a group to take revenge on Monfils for reporting on Kutska.

Another co-worker told police that Kutska had confided in him all the details of the killing of Monfils.

All six men were convicted at jury trial and sentenced to life in prison.

The trial was one of the most high-profile events in Northeast Wisconsin in the past 30 years. Over time, opinions have shifted about their guilt in the death of Tom Monfils. Supporters believe the men were wrongly convicted.

WHERE ARE THEY NOW?

Rey Moore is the fourth of the original “Monfils 6” to be released from prison.

Michael Piaskowski’s conviction was overturned by an appeals court in 2001. The court ruled that there was not enough evidence to prove his involvement.

Dale Basten was granted parole in September 2017 due to his failing health. He died at age 77 in June.

In Dec. 2018, Michael Hirn was released from McNaughton Correctional Center in Lake Tomahawk.The 55-year-old was granted parole after 23 years in prison.

Keith Kutska has appealed his conviction up to the United States Supreme Court. In 2017, the high court denied his petition for a writ of certiorari, which is a document asking the high court to review the decision of a lower court.

Kutska, 68, had mounted his appeal based on what his attorneys claimed was new evidence in the case. The defense was granted an evidentiary hearing to present an argument that Tom Monfils killed himself.

A judge ruled there was not evidence to grant Kutska a new trial. His subsequent appeal was denied. The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision not to take the case upholds the lower court’s ruling.

Kutska is eligible for parole on May 1, 2021. That decision is up to the parole board.

Action 2 News has learned that Michael Johnson, 71, has been granted parole and will be released from prison Wednesday, July 3. We will be there to cover the release.

Posted on: July 5, 2019Jared Manninen

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