CRIME AND COURT ROUNDUP: Father of vanished girl back in court for allegedly beating another child
The father of Alexis Patterson -- a young Milwaukee girl who vanished for good in 2002 -- is due in court today for allegedly beating another child. 40-year-old Kenya Carlton Campbell has a preliminary hearing scheduled this morning on three felony counts of child abuse, and one felony charge of child neglect. Campbell is the biological father of Alexis Patterson, but the girl's mother had divorced him and re-married when the child went missing on her way to school in May of 2002. The disappearance made national news, and it still gets attention every once in a while. In Campbell's new court case, authorities said he claimed that his eight-month-old daughter fell from a couch on November 22nd -- but doctors later found that the girl had a broken jaw, a lacerated liver with hemorrhage, and abusive head trauma that could have killed the youngster. Campbell has been in trouble before. Among other things, online court records show that he was convicted of drug dealing in Milwaukee County in 2004, and selling cocaine in Portage County in 2009.
A former teacher's aide in Appleton is free on a signature bond, after being accused of sexually assaulting a student. 44-year-old Laura Bates of Hilbert made her first appearance in Calumet County Circuit Court yesterday on four felony charges of sexual assault by a school staffer. Authorities said Bates had a relationship with a 17-year-old boy, and it turned sexual last month at her home. She told authorities she loved the youngster. Bates was a teacher's aide at Appleton West High School for three years until Monday, when she quit after police questioned her. She did not have an attorney in court yesterday, and her initial appearance was adjourned until December 30th.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court will not consider releasing a man who killed three people at a church near La Crosse 28 years ago. A circuit judge and a state appeals court both ruled that Bryan Stanley violated the terms of a conditional release from the state's Mendota Mental Health Institute in 2009. Stanley's attorney asked the Supreme Court to reverse the rulings and let him go -- but the justices said they would not review the case. When he was first released, Stanley had spent over two decades at Mendota. That's after he was found innocent-by-insanity in the 1985 shooting deaths of the Reverend John Rossiter and two others at Saint Patrick's Catholic Church in Onalaska. Stanley was out of the institution for three years before Circuit Judge Ramona Gonzalez sent him back in 2012. By then, she said Stanley had violent and disturbing thoughts for over a year -- and considering his schizo-phrenia, Stanley did not act in the best interest of the public or his rehab.
A top Republican official in Michigan missed a court hearing on Wisconsin criminal charges yesterday, because he was in jail in Michigan on other charges. 51-year-old Doug Sedenquist of Escanaba was arrested last week. The Michigan G-O-P Central Committee member was later charged with extortion, using a computer in a crime, stalking, and possessing a drug similar to a controlled substance. Details of those crimes were not immediately available. Yesterday, Sedenquist was supposed to appear in Brown County Circuit Court in Green Bay, where he was charged in March for not obeying a police order to drop a gun when he apparently threatened to kill himself in his vehicle. He's charged in Brown County with failing to obey a police order, disorderly conduct, and making a threat with a computer. Online court records do not list a new court date in that case. The Detroit Free Press said all the charges are connected in some way to Sedenquist's estranged wife. He was the vice chairman of the Delta County Republican Party in Escanaba, and he continues to hold his state committee post for now. His status could be discussed at the panel's next meeting December 14th. Sedenquist is also a talk radio personality.
Milwaukee Police are defending their use of the controversial license plate readers that some state lawmakers want to limit. Milwaukee is among a number of Wisconsin communities that use the technology, which has been getting more attention due to privacy concerns. The readers are placed on squad cars, and they record license plates of every vehicle that goes by. The numbers are immediately checked to see if their owners are wanted -- and the plates and the vehicles' locations are immediately put on file. Last month, three state lawmakers of both parties announced a bill to destroy all license plate photos within 48 hours unless they're needed for criminal investigations. They're still seeking co-sponsors. The American Civil Liberties' Union says the technology allows the government to track innocent people's movements by recording their driving habits. A Journal Sentinel reporter learned that his license plates were photographed 42 times by Milwaukee Police from May through November. They've been using the readers since 2008. Milwaukee police officials said it helped them recover 125 stolen cars in one night, caught an armed robbery suspect after the victim gave a partial license plate number, and caught a criminal who skipped out on a mandatory visit with a probation officer. Milwaukee's Fire-and-Police Commission says it will create a more formal policy this month on the use of the readers. The policy would include guidelines on usage -- and who can see the data.