CRIME AND COURT ROUNDUP: Trevino's trial delayed again
A Minnesota husband accused of killing his wife from the Wausau area is having his trial delayed again. 39-year-old Jeffrey Trevino was first supposed to go on trial in May, then on July 22nd. Now, the proceedings are being pushed back to September 16th, so the defense can have more time to review the autopsy on 30-year-old Kira Steger Trevino. Also, both sides want more time to pore over D-N-A and phone records. Saint Paul Police said they found evidence of a bloody fight in the couple’s bedroom in late February, when Jeffrey Trevino was arrested. It took searchers three months to find Kira’s battered-and-decomposed body in the Mississippi River in downtown Saint Paul. Yesterday, a judge agreed to let possible jurors hear from Kira’s friends, who said she talked a troubled marriage. The defense said the evidence should not be admitted because it’s hearsay. Prosecutors said Kira’s abandoned car had the address of another man who was her lover. Blank divorce papers were also found in the vehicle.
A support group for sex abuse victims accuses the Milwaukee Catholic Archdiocese of bankruptcy fraud, by transferring 57-million-dollars to a trust account to protect it from legal claims. Documents released yesterday show that former Milwaukee Archbishop Tim Dolan moved cemetery care funds into a trust in 2007, four years before the church filed for bankruptcy. The Survivors Network for Those Abused by Priests said Dolan tried to hide the money from the amount available to pay settlements to victims of abusive priests. Both Dolan and the archdiocese denied such a motive. Church spokesman Jerry Topczewski said the money was always allocated for cemetery care, and the trust only made it formal. Thousands of pages of documents were released as part of a settlement in the church’s bankruptcy case. They also showed that Dolan paid some problem priests to leave the church. He sought permission to have Reverend Daniel Budzynski defrocked for repeatedly abusing children. Victims’ attorney Jeffrey Anderson called the revelations “shameful and shocking.” He said the church seemed to worry more about its own reputation than about helping victims. Former Archbishop Rembert Weakland tried to warn the Vatican in advance of the budding U-S priest sex abuse scandal – and it took years for church leaders to fully respond. Weakland resigned in 2002 after he paid off a man not to disclose the sexual relations they had.
A Milwaukee man is now pleading insanity to charges that he killed three elderly residents in southwest Wisconsin in April. 31-year-old Jaren Kuester amended his previous innocent pleas yesterday to three counts of homicide, burglary, and vehicle theft. The change was no surprise, since his attorney mentioned the possibility earlier. A 10-day trial is tentatively set to begin October 14th in Lafayette County. If he’s found insane, Kuester would go to a mental institution. If not, he could get life in prison. His family has said that Kuester should have been sent to a mental hospital after he threatened animal shelter employees in Waukesha two days before the murders. Authorities said he drove across southern Wisconsin after being told he could not see his pet dog, which actually died two weeks earlier. Officials said Kuester broke into a farmhouse and killed Gary, Dean, and Chloe Thoreson with a fireplace poker after they arrived there. Kuester then allegedly stole a victim’s pickup truck to see his dad in Waukesha, where he was arrested the next day.
A Grant County man has pleaded guilty to using fake bar codes, to get big discounts on thousands-of-dollars of hardware and equipment at stores in Wisconsin and Iowa. Jeremy Fishnick of Lancaster pleaded guilty to wire fraud yesterday in a federal courtroom in Cedar Rapids Iowa. He admitted printing U-P-C codes for less expensive products, and covering them over the real codes for more expensive items so he could buy them for the lower prices. In one case, Fishnick bought an 890-dollar welding unit for just under 150-dollars. Authorities said the scheme caused 30-thousand-dollars in losses at stores in Prairie du Chien and six locations in Iowa, including Dubuque and Cedar Rapids.
Authorities in northeast Wisconsin are trying to sort out the details in a pair of shooting deaths late last night. Marinette County sheriff’s deputies were called around 10 last night, when an armed man busted into a family cabin in Pound. A short time later, deputies were told that a car crashed into a house in the same area. The driver, in his late 20’s, was found shot. He died later at a Green Bay hospital. Officers said their investigation led to another man who was apparently in his 70’s. They said they found him in a vehicle with a handgun and a shotgun. Sheriff Jerome Sauve said the man pointed one of the gun at his deputies – and they opened fire and killed him. None of the involved officers were hurt.
Milwaukee Police say they have no plans to change their security procedures at Summerfest, after the state’s biggest music festival was hit with huge crowds during the weekend. Lots of folks have been critical, after thousands without tickets jammed the entry gates on Saturday. In the end, police and festival officials agreed to open the gates for 15 minutes – and up to seven-thousand people got in for free. Many in the crowd waited over two hours to get in. An 18-year-old woman told the Journal Sentinel that a man put his hand down her pants while they were jammed in line – a case that could have been a misdemeanor sexual assault under Wisconsin law. Yesterday, Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn said folks on the scene praised the police response – much different than the public uproar that followed. Flynn said things happen in big cities, especially when quote, “We basically had the city of Green Bay on the Summerfest Grounds in one night.” Summerfest officials urge folks to print their tickets online before they arrive – and it costs no more to do so. The 11-day festival took a scheduled day off yesterday. It resumes today, and runs through Sunday.
The State Supreme Court plans to announce tomorrow whether a Wausau area couple should be guilty of homicide, for praying instead of getting medical help for their dying daughter. Dale and Leilani Neumann want the justices to throw out their 2009 convictions for second-degree reckless homicide. 11-year-old Kara Neumann died on Easter Sunday of 2008 from complications of diabetes. That’s after the couple failed to get medical help and insisted on faith healing instead. State law allows such faith-healing without making parents liable for child abuse. The Justice Department says homicide laws take precedence when a child dies, but the Neumanns’ attorneys say the law is not clear in that regard. During oral arguments last December, Pat Roggensack was the only justice to give any indication of how she was leaning. She said the Neumann’s original juries concluded that they crossed the line – and she asked why the Supreme Court should rule differently.
A Milwaukee man died from a heroin overdose just before two prostitutes allegedly hid his body in a closet, tried using his credit cards, and used his apartment for sex with their customers. That’s what prosecutors said about 35-year-old Ashley Howard of Milwaukee and 22-year-old Brittany Clary of New Berlin. Both were charged yesterday with hiding a corpse after the death of 62-year-old Glenn Willis, who worked for a Milwaukee law firm. His family reported him missing on June 14th, and police found his body in his apartment last Friday. Police said they checked the closet when they saw an exercise bike and a bookcase pushed in front of it. Online court records did not list the new charges against Howard and Clary this morning – and there was no word on when they would appear in Milwaukee County Circuit Court. At last word, the cause of Willis’ death had not been determined.
A Madison police officer has agreed to stop patrolling for good, in exchange for having a complaint dropped against him for shooting a musician to death. Steven Heimsness has agreed to resign as of November 23rd, and Madison Police Chief Noble Wray agreed to withdraw allegations filed last month with the city’s Police-and-Fire Commission. Reports said Heimsness shot 30-year-old Paul Heenan to death last November after Heenan mistakenly entered a neighbor’s house while drunk – and the officer later tried breaking up a scuffle between the two. The Wisconsin Professional Police Association said Heimsness has suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder since the shooting. Union director Jim Palmer said the officer’s mental health is his main concern. He was on administrative leave until Sunday, and was put on sick leave yesterday. Heimsness will remain on sick leave until his duty disability application is approved or on November 23rd – whichever comes first.