CRIME AND COURT ROUNDUP: Plea hearing today for Iraq veteran accused of killing his police officer wife
A judge will consider a plea deal today for an Iraq War veteran accused of killing his wife while she was on duty as a Wauwatosa police officer last Christmas Eve. 30-year-old Ben Sebena is due in Milwaukee County Circuit Court this afternoon. He pleaded innocent by insanity, but two mental exams concluded that Sebena’s mental health issues are not enough to justify a sanity plea. Prosecutors said he ambushed his 30-year-old wife, Jennifer Sebena, and shot her after she finished a break at Wauwatosa’s downtown fire station. Details of Ben’s plea agreement have not been disclosed.
Former Manitowoc high school basketball star Robert Sullivan was freed from jail yesterday, after he was arrested for the shooting death of his brother on Sunday. His attorney said the 65-year-old Sullivan was acting in self-defense when his 62-year-old brother Carey Sullivan was killed at the home they shared in Manitowoc. A bond hearing set for yesterday was canceled, as an investigation continues. Defense lawyer Brian Maloney said the victim had a history of mental illness and making threats – and Carey was attacking Robert when the shooting occurred. Maloney said the shooting victim outweighed his client by over 100 pounds. The district attorney’s office said police are still checking out various aspects of the case – including the claim of self-defense, and Carey Sullivan’s mental history. The D-A said there’s no indication that Robert Sullivan had any history of violent or aggressive behavior. A preliminary autopsy shows that Carey was shot once in the head at close range. Robert Sullivan was an all-state high school basketball player for two years at Manitowoc, before starting at the University of Michigan for three years.
The state Justice Department will soon give grants to local law enforcement to fight heroin use – and teach the rest of us about the dangers of the drug. A number of agencies have applied for the one-time grants. Attorney General J-B Van Hollen says the funds will help police, social service agencies, and health care providers work as a team to prevent and treat heroin use. Justice officials are currently reviewing the applications. Also, Van Hollen says a statewide educational campaign will be launched in late summer or early fall. It will include radio and T-V announcements, plus a Web page teaching the dangers of heroin. Van Hollen says heroin abuse has become prolific in every part of Wisconsin. He says there’s no simple solution to fight the increase in the drug’s use so quote, “We’re trying to approach it from every angle that we can.”
Friends of Kira Steger Trevino are raising money to help send her Wisconsin relatives to Saint Paul Minnesota, for the trial of her husband who’s accused of killing her. A benefit is planned for tomorrow evening in downtown Saint Paul with dinner, live music, a raffle, and a silent auction. Organizers tell the Saint Paul Pioneer Press that the proceeds will help defray travel expenses for Kira’s family, so they can attend every day of her husband’s trial. Kira Steger Trevino is originally from the Wausau area, and her parents now live in Marshfield. Prosecutors said 39-year-old Jeffrey Trevino attacked Kira in their Saint Paul home. He reported her missing in late February, and her body was not found until May when it turned up in the Mississippi River in downtown Saint Paul. Jeffrey’s trial is scheduled to begin July 22nd.