CRIME AND COURT ROUNDUP: Greenfield police recipient over a $1,000 in donations which was started by an 11-year-old boy
A suburban Milwaukee boy who donated 10-dollars and three-cents in coins to his local police department has inspired others to give as well. A Greenfield Police official said yesterday that his department received over a-thousand dollars in donations, and 400-dollars more were sent to the boy who triggered the generosity. The boy never gave his name when he left his money jar at the police station two days after the anniversary of 9-11. Police issued a video of his deed -- and it wasn't long before he was identified as 11-year-old Max Siepert of Greenfield. He's been profiled in various Milwaukee area media reports. Max said he wanted to do something good in the wake of the 9-11 terrorist attacks, and he wanted to honor his grandfather -- a Milwaukee police officer killed in the line of duty 39 years ago. The Greenfield Fire Department has also received some donations. His mother, Bridget Siepert, said all the money donated to her son would be given to various worthy causes.
A suburban Milwaukee woman will be sentenced this morning for locking three of her kids in a bedroom just before they died in a fire. 25-year-old Angelica Belen of West Allis struck a plea deal in July, in which she admitted to three felony counts of causing death by child neglect. Six misdemeanor child neglect charges were dropped. Prosecutors said Belen was about to leave home for a new job on April 12th, when she locked four-year-old twin boys Adrian and Alex Colon in a bedroom along with their five-year-old sister Nayeli. They died in a blaze that was apparently started by an electrical problem in the kitchen. Belen said she locked the kids away because she didn't want them going outside or running around the house while she was not home. The misdemeanor charges resulted from an incident in late March when Belen and another child went into a store, and three other kids were left in her car. The four-year-old twins got out and walked around the parking lot, and another vehicle almost hit them. Before the fire, officials said Belen was warned twice by a child welfare worker not to leave her kids alone. On March 28th, officials ruled that Belen’s kids were found to be in need of protective services – but she was allowed to keep them anyway.
A west central Wisconsin man is being held on suspicion of killing his father. 20-year-old Lars Helgeson of rural Hixton was arrested Wednesday night, about the same time that searchers found the body of a man believed to be Brian Helgeson. Jackson County Sheriff Duane Waldera told reporters yesterday that the body was in such bad shape that they could not confirm who it was, or how he died. Authorities were hoping those questions would be answered in an autopsy scheduled for yesterday in Madison. Waldera said the body was apparently buried for 10-or-11 days before a K-9 search team found it. State and local officers took part in the search. They were still gathering evidence yesterday. Waldera said a motive has not been established. Deputies started to investigate on Monday, when Lars Helgeson's brother got concerned over suspicious activity. The sheriff said a tip led his officers to a stolen vehicle near Brian Helgeson's house on Wednesday -- and they reportedly saw Lars run away as they approached. He was later taken into custody without incident. Waldera says Lars is cooperating with investigators while awaiting court action. He's being held on a possible charge of first-degree intentional homicide.
A judge in Saint Paul expects jury deliberations to begin Tuesday in the trial of Jeffrey Trevino, who's charged with killing his wife from the Wausau area. Jurors have heard six days of testimony. Defense lawyer John Conard spent an-hour-and-a-half yesterday questioning McKenzie Anderson of Minnesota's Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. He was trying to find fault with Anderson's earlier testimony that blood D-N-A in the couple's apartment matched that of Kira Trevino. Prosecutors said the couple got into a bloody fight at their home in February, and then Jeffrey Trevino placed his wife's body into the Mississippi River where it was found two-and-a-half months later. Steger was reportedly about to leave Trevino for another man. A retired police sergeant who questioned Trevino is expected to testify today. District Judge Leonardo Castro says closing arguments and jury deliberations are on track to begin Tuesday.
A jury in Sheboygan has convicted a 23-year-old Oshkosh man for a stabbing death. Jurors refused to accept Michael Lemerande's claim that he acted in self-defense when he killed 41-year-old Nicholas Lehrke with a butcher knife. It happened earlier this year during a fight. Lemerande claimed he was defending a friend whom Lehrke was attacking. Prosecutors said the fight was not a major scuffle, and Lemerande's friend was never in serious danger. Lemerande was found guilty of second-degree reckless homicide. A sentencing date has not been set. The judge and attorneys in the case will get together for a status conference on November 25th.