CRIME AND COURT ROUNDUP: Reedsburg woman sentenced to at least 40 years prison for intentional homicide
A 27-year-old baby sitter will spend at least 40 years in prison, for causing skull fractures and a broken leg to a four-month-old girl she was watching. Jeannette Janusiak of Reedsburg claims that somebody else caused Payten Shearer's injuries, and she wrote Sauk County Circuit Judge Patrick Taggart to beg for leniency. The judge, however, said the evidence against her was "overwhelming." Janusiak was given a mandatory life prison sentence this week, after a jury found her guilty of first-degree intentional homicide. The state recommended extended supervision after 75 years, while the defense called for a 20-year term before release hearings. Taggart decided to keep Janusiak behind bars until at least 2054, when she's 67. The victim was a daughter of Janusiak's friend. Angela Shearer told the judge that she still can't fully understand how her friend could have hurt Payten. Janusiak made it clear she'll appeal. In her words, "Me and my family are losing our lives for a life I didn't take."
We could find out today whether the University of Wisconsin system had the right to ban a frequent protester from its campuses. The State Supreme Court is expected to rule on a case involving former Stevens Point student Jeffrey Decker. He was barred from university property in 2011, after he attended meetings of the U-W Board of Regents and various campus bodies to protest policies on student fees. Decker believed that U-W officials had illegally blocked access by students to the fees they pay for various programs and facilities. A Dane County judge issued a restraining order against Decker, but the Fourth District Appeals Court struck down a year-and-a-half ago. The appellate judges said Decker's factions were not harassing, and his behavior was legitimate because it was related to protests. Jeffrey Decker is a son of former Senate Democratic Majority Leader Russ Decker.
If you get stopped for a traffic violation, and the police want to search your briefcase, don't ask, "Got a warrant for that?" The Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled on a 4-to-3 vote that the phrase was too ambiguous for a passenger to withdraw a driver's consent for a search -- and it was too vague for an officer to ask a suspect to clarify the remark. The traffic stop occurred in August of 2010, when a Sheboygan County deputy stopped Derik Wantland and his brother from Random Lake, for having a defective brake light. The driver consented to a vehicle search -- and the officer grabbed Wantland's briefcase when that person asked if he got a warrant. The deputy kept opening the briefcase and found four narcotic pills. Wantland was charged with illegal drug possession -- and he tried but failed to prevent a jury from hearing about the search.
Oshkosh Police say they've found a Missouri man who's suspected of leaving a puppy at a trash bin behind a truck stop. Officers said the man admitted leaving the two-week-old dog named Hazel in a plastic bag outside the Planeview Truck Stop on the Highway 41 expressway last Thursday. No charges have been recommended, and an investigation continues. Police said they were able to trace the man to a trucking firm in Missouri, after getting numerous tips about the case. The Oshkosh Area Humane Society says Hazel will need surgery for a proven pelvis. She also has a spinal injury.
A third person has been sentenced in a drug distribution ring on the Lac du Flambeau Indian reservation in far northern Wisconsin. A federal judge has sentenced 28-year-old Derek Armstrong of Lac du Flambeau to two years in prison and three years of supervised release. He pleaded guilty in mid-April to distributing the painkiller Oxycodone. Investigators caught Armstrong wiring money to his drug source in Milwaukee, and he had 54-hundred-dollars from illegal drug sales when he was arrested. Brandon and Lois Vetterneck have been given probation in the drug ring. Andrew and Sunn Meshigaud are scheduled to be sentenced August 22nd.
A southern Wisconsin woman will spend the next 25 years on probation, for causing a drunk driving crash that killed her mother. Forty-seven year old Barbara Dorshorst of Poynette pleaded no contest to homicide by O-W-I. A count of having a prohibited blood alcohol level was dropped in a plea deal. Authorities said an S-U-V driven by Dorshorst veered off a road and slammed into a tree last December. Her 78-year-old mother, Caroline Hebel, was a passenger in the S-U-V. She died in the mishap. Besides the probation, Dorshorst must spend a year in jail, and attend counseling sessions for the next ten years.