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Suspect in Chad McLean cold case homicide pleads not guilty

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Peter Hanson (left) has been charged in connection with the 1998 death of Chad McLean (right).
Peter Hanson (left) has been charged in connection with the 1998 death of Chad McLean (right).

OCONTO, WI (WTAQ) - The man charged in a cold case murder has pleaded not guilty.

In Oconto County court Wednesday, 52-year-old Peter Hanson waived his right to a preliminary hearing and entered his plea.

Authorities say Hanson killed 19-year-old Chad McLean near Abrams in late February 1998.

Hanson's attorney said his client waived the hearing based on exhibits from the state, and because of new preliminary hearing rules which allow hearsay evidence.

While Hanson's attorney had no comment after court, the special prosecutor in the case did speak with the media.

"The law changed about a year ago that allows hearsay at preliminary hearings so we had given exhibits ahead of time, some of the reports, so I think that Mr. Hanson knew what the presentation was going to be and really decided to waive it because he didn't think he was going to accomplish much having a hearing," Special Prosecutor Vince Biskupic told FOX 11.

McLean's family declined to comment after the hearing.

However, Biskupic said they are anxious to get the case to trial which is set for December.

Hanson is being held in the Oconto County Jail on $500,000 bond. His next court appearance is scheduled for June 4.

Hanson faces separate charges of drug possession and having images of child pornography.

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