CRIME AND COURT ROUNDUP: State Supreme Court to decide whether cellphone data can be used to track murder suspects
Can police use cellphone data to track down murder suspects? The Wisconsin Supreme Court is expected to answer that question today. The justices are scheduled to rule on a pair of homicide cases from Milwaukee and Kenosha counties, in which police obtained data from cellphone providers to find and arrest the suspects. Milwaukee Police found Bobby Tate in his mother's apartment. He said detectives did not have enough evidence to justify a warrant they obtained to track his cellphone. The Kenosha murder suspect, Nicolas Subdiaz-Osorio, was arrested in Arkansas. He contends that the search of his phone data was illegal.
One of two Milwaukee men charged with stealing a five-million-dollar Stradivarius violin is expected to get a prison sentence today, while the other gets a plea deal. Thirty-seven year old Universal Allah pleaded guilty in May to a robbery charge. Prosecutors have recommended an undetermined amount of prison time. His co-defendant, 42-year-old Salah Salahaydn, is expected to be convicted at the same hearing this afternoon. A plea deal was apparently in the works, after Salahaydn was charged with felony robbery. Police said the two robbed a concert-meister of the 300-year-old Stradivarius after a performance in January at Wisconsin Lutheran College. The violin was found in good condition a few days after the hold-up. Allah's cousin has asked for leniency, saying the other defendant pulled off the crime. Milwaukee Symphony director Mark Niehaus said Allah needs to be held accountable, saying "a musician of great value was senselessly and brutally attacked" in the robbery.
A man who used to own a Wausau mortgage firm will spend just over nine years in prison for embezzling over a million dollars from clients, bilking campground investors, and sexually assaulting two children. Fifty-four year old Jay Fischer struck plea deals in both Marathon and Waupaca counties that convicted him of racketeering, fraud, and child sexual assault. At his sentencing in Wausau yesterday, prosecutors asked for a maximum prison term, while the defense called for probation. Fischer was given 11 years, but 552 days will be taken off for the time he spent in jail during his court case. He must also spend 18 years under extended supervision once he gets out. Marathon County Circuit Judge Greg Huber said prison time was justified, because Fischer stole from clients and then created more victims -- including a step-daughter who was molested. Fischer is the former owner of Valley Title in Wausau. He also owned Krazy-"J's" Campground near Marion, where he was accused of committing securities' fraud involving investors.
Two children are recovering, after they were shot inside a vehicle on Milwaukee's north side. A ten-year-old boy and an eleven-year-old girl were treated at a hospital for non-life-threatening injuries. Milwaukee Police deputy inspector Stephen Basting said the mother was driving the vehicle when the shooting occurred in an alley around seven last evening. Officers found a number of bullet-casings in the alley -- and they were trying to determine if another person in the vehicle may have been the target. Police continue to investigate.
Most burglars at least have the decency to wear clothes -- but not a prowler in Fond du Lac. Police said a man wearing only his birthday suit entered an unlocked house yesterday, and a resident chased him out of the house and down the block before he could steal anything. On Tuesday, another resident told police about a naked man lurking outside her father's house. The man ran away when a 19-year-old woman confronted him. He claimed he was just on a walk. Fond du Lac assistant police chief Steve Klein says officers don't know what the man's intentions are. An investigation continues, and Klein advises residents to lock their doors.
A prosecutor says at least one Milwaukee County employee admitted taking two key pieces of evidence from a courthouse fire last summer, and sold them for scrap. W-I-S-N T-V said a recently-unsealed subpoena explained allegations that county workers stole fire debris that insurers wanted to investigate -- and they sold the metals for scrap and pocketed the money. Assistant District Attorney David Feiss tells the T-V station that one worker broke down a pair of circuit breakers in front of his superiors. He was told to toss them in a Dumpster, where reportedly took them later and sold the metals. Feiss said the worker could not be charged with theft in that instance. W-I-S-N said it triggered a disciplinary investigation, but county officials would not comment. Last July's fire damaged a complex basement electrical system in the Milwaukee courthouse. Repairs are expected to be completed in September. The damages were covered by insurance, but the cause remains undetermined.