CRIME AND COURT ROUNDUP: Two-year-old recovering after swallowing a tiny amount of cocaine
LOMIRA -- A two-year-old child is recovering, after swallowing a tiny amount of cocaine at a home in Lomira in Fond du Lac County. Sheriff's deputies are still trying to find out how the toddler came in contact with the drug. Rescuers were called to a house in Lomira on Sunday night, to help a child who was not feeling well. The toddler was taken to a Fond du Lac hospital, where tests showed that the youngster injected cocaine. The child was then sent to a Milwaukee hospital. Sheriff Pat Ninmann tells the Fond du Lac Reporter that the toddler is doing well. His parents had just moved into their apartment, and the sheriff says they are not suspected of any law violations.
Two 12-year-old Waukesha girls are due back in adult court today, for allegedly stabbing another girl 19 times in allegiance to a fictional horror character. Circuit Judge Michael Bohren is scheduled to meet with attorneys on both sides at 1:15, to review the status of the case against Anissa Weier and Morgan Geyser. Both are currently charged with attempted homicide in the May 31st incident. Their attorneys have said they'll try to get the youngsters into juvenile court, with a chance for more treatment and earlier releases. If they're found delinquent, they could be held until they turn 25 -- but if they're convicted as adults, each could get up to 65 years in prison. Previous reports indicated that the stabbing victim was near death before starting to recover. All three students go to Horning Middle School in Waukesha. Yesterday, Judge Bohren told the news media covering today's proceeding not to photograph the defendants' faces. Attorneys for the Wisconsin Broadcasters and Newspaper associations filed a challenge to the judge's order, saying there's no need for it because the suspects' photos have been published worldwide online. They were photographed at their initial adult court appearance, where bonds of a half-million dollars each were set.
A Milwaukee man will spend five months in jail for taking thousands-of-dollars in kickbacks as part of a federally-funding training program for minority contractors. 69-year-old Homer Key was convicted by a jury last month of conspiracy, theft by fraud, and forgery in a scheme he carried out with the program's leader, Frieda Webb. She was put on a year of probation Monday, after her case was bargained down to misdemeanor theft. Besides the jail time, Key must also spend two-and-a-half years on probation and perform 100 hours of community service. If he doesn't follow the terms, he'll go to prison for 15 months. Webb hired Key in a series of no-bid contracts that paid him up to 40-thousand dollars a year for seven years ending in 2011. The judge said county officials had rubber-stamped whatever Webb did while Key did hardly anything -- but her conduct with key was at the center of the problem. Webb and Key said they never committed a crime, and their final contract was meant to correct earlier payment errors.
A former Racine child care worker has been convicted, after she allegedly stood by while three youngsters were attacking a two-year-old boy. Twenty-four year old Krystina Woods has pleaded no contest to a felony count of failing to prevent harm to a child. She also agreed to testify against a co-defendant, 23-year-old Jakitta Hollins of Caledonia. Prosecutors are recommending a year in jail plus probation for Woods, who will be sentenced August 28th. Woods and Hollins were both charged for an incident in April of last year at the Bundles-of-Blessings Kids' Care in Racine. Authorities said the two women watched the attack on the young boy, then posted it on Facebook. Hollins is scheduled to go on trial June 24th.
An open house took place in Baraboo yesterday to remember a Sauk County sheriff's sergeant killed in a helicopter crash 30 years ago. Stuart Searles was responding to the tornado which virtually destroyed nearby Barneveld. He had just dropped off former Governor Tony Earl, so he could assess the tornado damage. Searles then flew up to Merrimac to pick up the county sheriff when his chopper started on fire. W-K-O-W T-V of Madison said the pilot was frantically trying to put out the flames -- and he was planning to crash-land the helicopter in the Wisconsin River so nobody else would be hurt. But the chopper did not get that far. It crashed in a field near Merrimac. Sauk County lieutenant Terry Spencer said almost his entire department was playing in a law enforcement softball tournament that day. He said Searles' death was never forgotten, and he and his fellow officers could never really heal from it.
New businesses are not the only ones benefiting from crowd-funding -- where people donate capital funds online. W-S-A-U Radio in Wausau reports that a crowd-funding site called "Give Forward" had an account open for a week to help Ashley Baumann -- the Merrill woman convicted of killing two friends in a high-speed drunk driving crash. A Facebook page reportedly had the first word about the account. W-S-A-U said the account for Baumann raised 610-dollars when it was open between May 30th and last Friday. An official of Give Forward confirmed that an account was set up on Baumann's behalf, but they didn't say who arranged it, why it's no longer active, or if Baumann actually received any of the money. Give Forward allows donors to give to people in need -- but the site says it does not support fund-raising for legal fees. Baumann recently put up 10-thousand dollars to get out on bond, while she awaits an August 20th sentencing in Lincoln County.