◆ Will serve 25-40 years in the Wyoming State Penitentiary
Joann Hakes disappeared January 3, 2015 and her remains were discovered on May 18 of 2019. Her former boyfriend, Ronald Weerheim, was charged in her murder.
The court case continued in recent weeks and Lincoln County Attorney, Spencer Allred, has released an updated statement on the sentencing of Mr. Weerheim.
“Ronald Weerheim entered a plea in the murder of Joann Hakes,” Allred said. “He stated to the Court that he no longer contested the charge of second degree murder.”
On May 10, 2021, in the District Court in Kemmerer, Wyoming, Ronald Weerheim was sentenced to 25 to 40 years in the Wyoming State Penitentiary after he entered a plea of no contest to second degree murder charges.
“We are extremely pleased with the final outcome of this case,” stated Allred. “Ms. Hakes was last seen over six years ago and her remains were found two years ago. Entering the murder conviction and receiving this sentence can finally give some closure to this terrible situation that this family has had to deal with for so long.”
Hakes had not been seen since January of 2015 before her remains were discovered May 18 of 2019 on a property located near Etna.
The Lincoln County Attorney’s Office working with the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) and the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office coordinated their efforts with officials in Chubbuck, Idaho where they executed a search warrant for Ronald Todd Weerheim who was subsequently extradited to Lincoln County.
Weerheim, Joann’s boyfriend at the time according to the Attorney’s Office, was charged with First Degree Felony Murder, Second Degree Murder and Kidnapping.
Attorney Allred gave more details during an interview with SVI Radio’s Duke Dance. The full interview can be heard at SVInews.com/radio or on the SVI News App.
• Discovery of Hakes
Officials received tips from many sources which allegedly included messages from the other side from psychics to sightings in various cities around the country.
Still no answers turned up that would lead to solving the mystery and closing the case.
It was not until spring of 2019 that shifting soil after a storm led to the discovery of Hakes’ remains which were verified by DNA testing.
“We would like to recognize and personally thank members of the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office, and agents from the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation for their tireless work and dedication in this case,” Allred concluded.