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Crime News

Ex-College Wide Receiver Arrested, Charged With Murdering Wisconsin Woman

Kraig Appleton, who played for the Wisconsin Badgers, is being held on a $1 million bond on charges of murdering 41-year-old Kelli Farrell.

By Daniel Egitto
Kraig Appleton Pd

A former college wide receiver has been arrested and charged with fatally shooting a St. Louis woman.

The victim, 41-year-old Kelli Farrell, died of a gunshot wound in her gut on April 20, the Belleville News-Democrat reports. A week later, police arrested Kraig Appleton, who played for the Wisconsin Badgers a little more than a decade ago.

When Appleton joined the Wisconsin Badgers in 2009, he had all the makings of a star. He was the No. 4 player in the state and the No. 17 receiver in the country, according to NBC Sports.

But in February 2010, less than a year into his college career, Appleton was one of three players suspended from his team for an alleged rule violation, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, a Wisconsin paper, reported.

Details on the violation were never released.

Appleton dropped out of the University of Wisconsin-Madison shortly after being suspended. Later that year, the university’s football coach at the time, Bret Bielema, talked to the former player about rejoining the team, Wisconsin news source Madison.com reported.

He said Appleton would have to join a junior college and earn an associate’s degree.

“I told him I’d work with him,” Bielema told the paper at the time. “If I can help him do that, I’ll do that. I’ve just got to make sure he’s ready to do things the right way for that to happen.”

But Appleton never played for the Badgers again.

In July 2011, Appleton had his first bad turn with guns when he was rushed to a St. Louis hospital with multiple gunshot wounds, Madison.com reported.

Appleton was booked the afternoon of April 27 on charges of first-degree murder. He is being held at a $1 million bond, according to an online inmate search.

His preliminary hearing is scheduled for May 8.