CRIME AND COURT ROUNDUP: Beloit police looking for 20-year-old man in a weekend shooting death
Police in Beloit were looking for a 20-year-old man this morning in the weekend shooting death of a teenager at a house party. Officials said Ezekiel "Chucky" Villa is considered armed-and-dangerous. The victim was a 19-year-old man from South Beloit, Illinois, who died at a hospital a short time after the incident. His name was not immediately released, pending notification of relatives. Police said many of those at the party ran away after the shooting, which happened around 2 a.m. yesterday. Some witnesses stayed around and cooperated with police. Investigators are trying to find the other party-goers to learn more about what happened. Beloit Police Captain William Tyler said there was some type of altercation, before the victim was shot-to-death by a man he apparently knew.
An Edgerton man is facing several charges after he got a ride home from a bar because he was too drunk to drive, and he then allegedly drove his pick-up truck into a neighbor's house. Authorities say 39-year-old Wade Johnson could face counts that include four-time drunk driving and hit-and-run. Rock County sheriff's deputies said Johnson got a ride home from a tavern yesterday afternoon -- and once he got there, he got into his truck, drove across two lawns, hit a tree, and then struck a neighbor's house. Officials said Johnson and his 21-year-old passenger ran away, and were captured in a nearby wooded area. The passenger was treated at a hospital for minor leg injuries, and was released.
Final pre-trial requests will be considered today for a former Mount Horeb police lieutenant accused of having a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old runaway. 44-year-old Dennis Jenks is scheduled to go on trial January sixth in Dane County Circuit Court. He's charged with 33 felonies that include repeated child sexual assault, child sexual exploitation, and two dozen counts of possessing child pornography. The runaway was from Beloit, and authorities said he lived with Jenks in Madison from last October until February. Jenks was also indicted in federal court last month on charges of taking explicit photos and a video of himself and the boy between last November and January. Jenks resigned from the Mount Horeb police force after his original state arrest earlier in the year.
After losing their son to a night of drinking, the parents of a UW-Stevens Point student helped start a program to try-and-prevent such a tragedy from happening again. Daren and Joan Duffey worked with the campus Student Government Association to start a program called "Bring-a-Buddy." It seeks to assure that students have someone with them when they walk home from a night at the bars. Over three-thousand bracelets have been given to students on the Stevens Point campus, mainly to those living in the dorms. The blue bracelets include the phone number of a local taxi company, so students can get rides if they need them. The campaign began after Stevens Point student Eric Duffey was found dead in an icy Wisconsin River, three days after he was last seen leaving a tavern in downtown Stevens Point in March of last year. The problem is a lot more common in La Crosse, where 10 college-age men drowned in three local rivers over the past 15 years after nights of drinking.
Jeffrey Trevino will be sentenced this afternoon for the death of his wife, Wausau area native Kira Steger, in late February at their home in Saint Paul. Minnesota prosecutors have recommended a 30-year prison sentence for Trevino. That's twice as long as the state's maximum sentencing guidelines for Trevino's conviction of second-degree murder. The defense recommends a 10-and-a-half year sentence, a few months shorter than the low end of the guidelines. Defense lawyer John Conard cited his client's previously clean record. Prosecutor Andrew Johnson said a longer sentence is justified because Trevino hid Steger's body, and volunteers spend over two months searching for the victim in the cold and the snow. Testimony during the trial indicated that Trevino appeared to smother Steger -- but jurors said there was not enough proof that the man intended to kill her. The couple's marriage was said to be in trouble, after Steger got into an affair with her boss at a store in Bloomington's Mall-of-America. Trial testimony indicated that Trevino wanted to save his marriage -- but on their final date, she kept texting her lover.