CRIME AND COURT ROUNDUP: Wausau woman pleaded innocent to throwing her newborn baby in the trash
A Wausau woman has pleaded innocent to throwing her newborn baby in the trash. 33-year-old Zoua Yang was arraigned yesterday on a Marathon County felony charge of concealing a child's death. She's also charged with misdemeanor bail jumping, after police were told in mid-October that she gave birth in her bathroom six days earlier. Defense lawyers said Yang did not realize she was pregnant, and the infant showed no signs of life after being born two months premature. She also said she didn't have health insurance. A witness said Yang placed the infant in a plastic bag and tossed the baby in a Dumpster. Officers tried recovering the body from the Marathon County landfill, but could not find it. Yang remains in jail under a one-thousand dollar cash bond. Her next court date was not immediately set.
One person was missing, and two others were injured after a house fire near Minocqua in Oneida County. Officials said the home was engulfed in flames when fire-fighters arrived about one a-m yesterday. Three people escaped, but a fourth person could not be found. One was taken to a Madison hospital with severe burns and other injuries. Another was treated at a local hospital and later released. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
A southeast Wisconsin man is facing numerous charges, after he allegedly abandoned 10 youngsters he promised to take on a Super Bowl trip. 39-year-old Rafael Andrews of Hartford is being held in Pennsylvania on a 150-thousand dollar bond. According to a newspaper in Bethlehem Pennsylvania, Andrews said he wanted to take the kids to Sunday's Super Bowl to raise money for the Christian Programs for Inner City Children. Five of the youngsters called police, saying they were abandoned at a shopping mall. Five others were reportedly left un-supervised as they raised money door-to-door in cold weather. Andrews faces multiple counts of endangering children's welfare.
A former Abbotsford High School teacher is free, after posting a 25-hundred-dollar bond on allegations of sexual assault. 25-year-old Andy Follen of rural Spencer had a bond hearing yesterday in Clark County Circuit Court. Online court records show that he was charged with five felony counts of sexual assault by a school staffer, and he's due in court March sixth for his formal first appearance. Follen resigned last week as a math teacher at Abbotsford High School, but did not give a reason. W-C-C-N Radio in Neillsville said two students told police they had sexual contact with the teacher several times between last October and December. Another media report said a parent reported suspicions to Abbotsford school officials.
A central Wisconsin man accused of killing his dog with a hammer is scheduled to enter a plea next Monday to his felony mistreatment charge. 26-year-old Cody Phillips of Bancroft waived a preliminary hearing yesterday, and a Portage County judge ordered him to stand trial. According to prosecutors, Phillips woke up January 19th to find that his dog defecated and urinated in his mobile home -- and when he tried pulling the pet outside with his collar, the dog growled and Phillips panicked. The dog was later found dead with blows to the head. He missed a court appearance last Monday, and was arrested on a warrant the next day. Phillips' lawyer, Jared Redfield, tells the Stevens Point Journal it was all a misunderstanding. Redfield said he re-scheduled the court date with one prosecutor -- but another prosecutor was handling the case last week and was not aware of the arrangement. For now, Phillips is free on a 500-dollar cash bond.
A central Wisconsin man will start having a second trial on April 9th, for allegedly stealing Social Security benefits from his missing mother-in-law. Last week, a Portage County jury could not reach unanimous verdicts on three fraud-related charges against 72-year-old Ronald Disher of Almond. They did convict him in an attack on a Social Security agent, and a new trial date was set yesterday in his fraud-related case. Disher was accused of helping steal 175-thousand dollars in Social Security checks written to Marie Jost -- who's been missing for over three decades. Disher told jurors last week that he drove two other defendants to a bank where they cashed the checks -- but he denied knowing anything about the stolen checks, or what the other two were doing at the time. Charles Jost was found innocent by insanity. Disher's wife, Delores Jost, had her charges dropped after she suffered a stroke last year.
A Sheboygan high school student is accused of beating his father to death, and hiding his body in their apartment for almost a week. 17-year-old Dorian Torres made his first court appearance yesterday in a video hook-up from his jail cell, where he's being held under a three-quarter million dollar bond. Torres is charged as an adult with first-degree intentional homicide in the death of his 41-year-old father Emilio. The man's ex-wife told police that the two argued often, and their son had a problem with authority figures. But District Attorney Joe DeCecco said he did not have an exact motive for the murder. Investigators believe that Emilio was killed around January 24th. His ex called police on the 29th because his Facebook account was deleted -- and their son had asked her for personal I-D numbers to his father's bank cards. He allegedly told her that his dad had left for Texas, and gave him his car before taking off. Emilio Torres was found dead January 30th, wrapped in a shower curtain under a bed's box spring in his apartment with blows to his head. Dorian is due back in court a week from tomorrow, when a judge will decide if there's enough evidence to order a trial.
A 22-year-old man was shot-and-killed while sitting in a parked car about a mile west of downtown Milwaukee. It happened yesterday afternoon on Kilbourn Avenue. No other details were immediately released.