CRIME AND COURT ROUNDUP: Man sentenced to life in prison for killing a co-worker at a Portage Subway restaurant
A southern Wisconsin man has been sentenced to life in prison for killing a co-worker at a Subway restaurant in Portage. Visiting Judge Brian Pfitzinger agreed to let 20-year-old Jordan Scott of Rio be considered for a supervised release when he's 67 at the earliest. Scott pleaded guilty to shooting 22-year-old David Johnson of Pardeeville to death last September fifth in Subway's parking lot at Portage. Prosecutors said the two had disagreements about work and Scott's girlfriend. Last November, Scott claimed he was insane at the time of the incident -- but he later decided to change his insanity plea to guilty. He apologized in court yesterday for the suffering he caused.
Governor Scott Walker says a prosecutor's statement yesterday helps set the record straight about his denials of involvement in the latest John Doe allegations. Randall Crocker, an attorney for prosecutor Francis Schmitz, said Schmitz never meant to imply that the governor broke campaign laws in an alleged plot to coordinate G-O-P recall campaigns through a dozen outside conservative groups. The statement also said Walker was not a target in that probe. At a campaign stop yesterday, Walker said his camp did not ask Crocker to issue the statement -- and he's not involved in any negotiations to settle the now-stalled John Doe. Hundreds of documents from the John Doe probe were released last week, in which Schmitz spelled out what he called a "criminal scheme." Crocker said the scenario was only the prosecutor's theory that he wanted to keep investigating.
A Wisconsin man will stay in jail during his federal court case on charges that he took young women to serve as prostitutes in the North Dakota oil fields. Federal Magistrate Judge Charles Miller of Bismarck said no yesterday to releasing 31-year-old Levell Durr on bond. The judge said Durr is a risk to the community -- and if he's released, he might flee to avoid future court proceedings. Sheboygan Police were told that Durr took three women away against their will, and that he used drugs and violence to keep them in line. Prosecutors said one woman was kept in a dog kennel for a number of days, after she broke one of his rules. The F-B-I said Durr also maintained pit bulls in the Milwaukee area as part of a dog-fighting ring. He was arrested in Bismarck last week.
Former West Allis police officer Steven Zelich is due in court this afternoon, after he was charged in Walworth County with hiding two women found dead in suitcases. A criminal complaint was filed yesterday. It said the 52-year-old Zelich met both women online, killed them when he first met them, and put them in separate suitcases that were found June 5th along a grassy roadside near Lake Geneva. Prosecutors have not filed homicide charges. Zelich has an initial court appearance at 1:15 in Elkhorn on two felony counts of hiding a corpse. Officials said both Zelich and 37-year-old Laura Simonson checked into a hotel in Rochester Minnesota last November, and only Zelich checked out. Simonson's family reported her missing three weeks later, and the new charges said she was found with a rope around her neck and a gag in her mouth. The A-P said a detective had long considered Zelich a person-of-interest in Simonson's disappearance -- but the real break didn't come until after her body was found. The second woman -- named Jane Doe in the complaint -- was found partially in a garbage bag, with both her hands tied behind her back. The complaint said Zelich hid the unnamed victim's body in his home and his vehicle for over a year, after he met her in Kenosha County in late 2012 or early last year. Zelich was a West Allis police officer from 1989 until he resigned in 2001. The Journal Sentinel said he was forced to quit after he had an altercation with a prostitute while off-duty. The paper said he was also a partner in title company when he was caught embezzling and was let go in 2007. Since then, he's been a private security officer for Securitas.
A suburban Milwaukee man is under arrest for shooting two of his sons, killing one of them. It happened about 2:15 yesterday afternoon at the family's house in Glendale. When officers arrived, a wounded 15-year-old boy was attending to his 20-year-old brother. Officers pulled the older victim to a neighboring driveway to give C-P-R, because they did not know where the shooter was. A police spokesman said the youngsters' father later surrendered at the house without incident. The 20-year-old died at the scene. The younger victim was in stable condition at last word at Milwaukee Children's Hospital.
A 56-year-old man has died in a one-car crash in central Wisconsin. It happened late yesterday morning on Highway 34 near Dancy in Portage County. Sheriff's officials said the car veered onto a shoulder, over-corrected, slid into a ditch, and started rolling over before it hit a tree stump. The man died at the scene. His name was not immediately released. The crash remains under investigation.