Regional News Briefs: Suspect in Superior shooting arrested in Duluth
DULUTH?SUPERIOR - The suspect in a shooting in Superior, Wisconsin is being held in the St.Louis County jail on a first-degree intentional homicide warrant.
An Arizona man is being charged today with killing the fiancée of his ex-girlfriend in Superior. 41-year-old Juan Padilla of Fort Mohave is charged in Douglas County with first-degree intentional homicide in the death of Terrence Luukkonen. He was found shot-to-death yesterday in his car outside of Genesis Attachments in Superior. Authorities said the body was found in the driver's seat, and the vehicle had its brake lines cut and a tire slashed. A 911 caller told police that Luukkonen had committed suicide. Prosecutors said the victim was engaged to a woman who had broken off a relationship with Padilla about a month ago. She told police that Padilla was upset about the break-up, and he wanted to kill her fiancée. Padilla was reportedly staying at a motel in West Duluth where a barrage of officers arrested him last night. Prosecutors said the woman had contact with Padilla several times since he arrived in Duluth-Superior. Padilla won't face his charges until he's extradited to Wisconsin from the Minnesota side of the Twin Ports.
A Minnesota man says La Crosse Police may have mishandled evidence that would have cleared him of charges that he murdered a camera store owner and his son. Attorneys for 40-year-old Jeffrey Lepsch of Dakota say they either want the homicide charges dropped - or a surveillance video not be admitted as evidence. Lepsch is scheduled to go on trial July 23rd in the shooting deaths of a 56-year-old Paul Petras and his 19-year-old son A.J. - plus the theft of 20-thousand dollars in camera equipment from May's Photo. A witness told officers he saw man behind a desk at May's photo close to 4:30 last September 15th. Police said they had surveillance video showing Lepsch leaving the store around three - but his attorneys said the video ended around 3:30, before the witness saw the man in the store. A state agent wrote that parts of the video were recorded over by the time police obtained it. Lepsch's attorneys say the video should not be used against their client, saying it would violate his due process rights.
A Benedictine monk from Wisconsin is free on bond, as he awaits a possible trial in Illinois on charges that he abducted four girls. 57-year-old Thomas Chmura was freed after a judge reduced his bond from $150,000 to $50,000. He had been held in the Lake County Jail in Waukegan, Illinois since May second, after one of his alleged victims was able to give police a description of the suspect. Chmura has pleaded innocent and has a trial set for July 12th. He lived at Saint Benedict's Abbey in the Kenosha County hamlet of Benet Lake. But a judge says Chmura cannot return to the abbey because children live there - and he cannot have contact with anyone under 17 as a condition of his bond. Chmura is living with his father in the Chicago suburb of Lansing.
Courtroom observers say 48 year old James Ealy showed no reaction when the jury returned a guilty verdict on the murder charges he faced. The Illinois man was convicted of killing his former boss during a robbery at a Burger King restaurant in 2006. The jury deliberated for about three hours at the Lake County, Illinois courthouse. Closing arguments had been given early Friday morning. Victim Mary Hutchinson was from Trevor, Wisconsin. She was strangled to death using the bow tie from her uniform.