Crime and Court Roundup: Trial begins today for 14-year-old charged with homicide
Attorneys are scheduled to make their opening arguments this morning in the Sheboygan County trial of Nathan Paape. He's the 14-year-old boy charged in the brutal killing of his friend's great-grandmother in Sheboygan Falls last September. A jury was selected on Friday. The trial is scheduled to last for four days. Paape and 14-year-old Antonio Barbeau were accused of killing 78-year-old Barbara Olson, ransacking her home, and then going out for pizza and marijuana with the money they allegedly stole. Paape is charged with adult homicide, with the possibility of life in prison if he's convicted. Barbeau pleaded no contest to the same charge earlier this month. He struck a plea deal, in which both sides agreed to ask a judge for a possible supervised prison release in 35 years, when Barbeau is 49.
Milwaukee Police continue to investigate a shooting incident on the main gambling floor of the Potawatomi Bingo Casino early yesterday. Police said a 27-year-old Wauwatosa man is being referred to prosecutors for charges, after he allegedly fired a handgun and wounded a 23-year-old Milwaukee woman. It happened around 1:30 yesterday morning. Media reports said there were two waves of frightened players who scrambled to the exits - while other gamblers found cover under blackjack tables and near slot machines. Police said the shooter and the victim fought with each other before the shootings. Witnesses said two-to-three shots were fired. There was a report that players helped wrestle the gun away from the man. Police said the woman suffered a non-life-threatening leg wound. Casino spokesman Ryan Amundson said it was the first shooting he could remember inside the building. An armed robbery occurred there in 2011 - and sometime after that, shots had been fired outside the casino, which is located between Milwaukee's downtown and Miller Park baseball stadium.
The Green Bay Catholic Diocese has cleared a retired Fox Valley priest of suspected sexual abuse. The Reverend Justin Werner denied allegations that he abused a minor at Saint Edward Parish in Mackville, near Appleton, in the 1970's. The diocese said it hired an investigator to look into the matter, and found that the claims were un-substantiated. The church notified law enforcement about the allegations, but no charges were ever filed. Bishop David Ricken says all restrictions have been lifted on Werner's public ministry activities. Werner is in his 80's. He's been a priest for over a half-century. In recent years, he's been an assistant at Saint Bernard Parish in Appleton.
Federal officials are investigating a weekend plane crash that killed two men on Madeline Island in far northern Wisconsin. A witness told Ashland County authorities that a plane was trying to land Saturday evening, but the pilot aborted the effort and tried a second approach. Officials said the single-engine craft burst into flames in a wooded area up to 200 yards south of the airport runway at La Pointe on Madeline Island, which is between Ashland and the Apostle Islands' chain. Sheriff Mick Brennan said a loud crash and explosion preceded the fire. The two men's bodies were removed from the crash scene yesterday, and were scheduled to have autopsies. Authorities did not identify the victims. Brennan said they were not from the Apostle Islands' region. The F-A-A said the plane was a Piper P-A-24 Comanche, registered to a company in La Crosse. Officials said the weather was good at the time of the crash. The National Transportation Safety Board is joining the F-A-A in investigating.
A 24-year-old man is expected to face criminal charges, for causing a weekend drunk driving crash that killed a passenger in an S-U-V in far southern Wisconsin. Walworth County sheriff's deputies are recommending charges of causing death and injury by intoxicated driving. They said the driver, from Woodstock Illinois, was going on a town road near Walworth when his S-U-V veered into a tree. 22-year-old passenger Kevin Green of Fontana died at a Milwaukee area hospital. The driver and a second passenger were both seriously injured, and were taken to area hospitals. A third passenger escaped injury. The crash occurred Saturday morning. Officials say the driver will have a bond hearing in court, as soon as he gets medical clearance.