Kenosha, WI (Learfield Wire Services) -- Former suburban Milwaukee police officer Steven Zelich pleaded guilty this morning to reduced charges of killing a woman in Wisconsin -- and he'll soon return to Minnesota for a related murder.

the 54-year-old Zelich entered today's plea just as a trial was about to begin on charges of intentional homicide and hiding a corpse in the 2012 choking death of 19-year-old Jenny Gamez in Kenosha. He pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of reckless homicide -- after he claimed that both killings were inadvertent, following rough sex with the two women.

Zelich is expected to be transferred to Olmsted County to face first and second degree murder charges following his sentencing in Wisconsin in late March. He is accused of killing a Farmington woman at a Rochester motel in 2013.

The bodies of Laura Simonson and the Oregon woman were found in suitcases left along a rural road near Lake Geneva, Wisconsin in June of 2014.