Crime and Court Roundup: Trial date set for Readstown police chief facing felony chargesWisconsin News
-- A trial date of September 25th has been set for a police chief in southwest Wisconsin who faces nine charges of misconduct, sexual assault, and obstructing investigators.
VIROQUA - A trial date of September 25th has been set for a police chief in southwest Wisconsin who faces nine charges of misconduct, sexual assault, and obstructing investigators.
Readstown chief Shay Larson is getting a two-day trial in Vernon County on three felony counts of misconduct. A judge has agreed to deal with six other misdemeanor charges separately. The felony charges accuse the 30-year-old Larson of looking the other way to crimes he witnessed, and asking others not to report them. The misdemeanor counts are for disorderly conduct, fourth-degree sexual assault, and obstructing officers. Among other things, those charges accuse him of improperly touching a drug informant, and having a woman give him oral sex three times. Two other charges were filed after Larson’s arrest that involved a 14-year-old boy, but they were later dropped. Larson had been investigated for six months before he was first charged in March. He was arrested in Nebraska a day after the first eight counts were filed. He’s still employed by the village, but he’s on unpaid leave. Larson had been Readstown’s only police officer, and the Vernon County sheriff’s department has been patrolling the village in his absence.
Bond was set at a half-million dollars yesterday for a Green Bay man accused of killing his live-in girlfriend. 31-year-old Richard Gardipee is charged with first-degree intentional homicide and obstructing police. Prosecutors said Gardipee stabbed 26-year-old Wendy Garcia in the chest last Saturday, after the two got into a physical dispute over the man’s use of pain-killers. Authorities said Gardipee later went to a friend’s house and cried while saying that he hurt Garcia – and the friend called police. Gardipee’s next court appearance is set for July 18th.
A U.S. Supreme Court ruling could change the shape of Wisconsin’s legislative and congressional districts the next time the maps are drawn a decade from now. The justices recently upheld Maryland’s new redistricting law that counts prisoners as if they were living at their last known addresses, instead of in their prison cells. Assembly Democrat Fred Kessler of Milwaukee has tried in the past to get Wisconsin to make the change, but could not do so. He says districts must have equal populations of voters. And because prisoners cannot vote, Kessler says each voter who lives near a prison has a bigger say in choosing lawmakers than those in districts without prisons. Wisconsin has lock-ups of various sizes throughout the state. The largest are in Dodge County, with two prisons in Waupun and Fox Lake. Kessler tells Wisconsin Public Radio that the Supreme Court ruling backs up his earlier proposal – and it shows it would be legal for the state to make the change. The next redistricting won’t come until after the 2020 Census.
Milwaukee Police said one of its officers was justified in striking a drunk driving suspect twice in the shoulder, because of the way he was resisting arrest. In fact, an outside analyst said officer Eric Ratzmann could have used deadly force on 40-year-old Jeffrey Strasser of Racine. Somebody’s smart-phone recorded Strasser’s arrest on April 12th, and the video went viral on the Internet. It showed Ratzmann punching Strasser twice near his head while the suspect was laying face-down on the ground. Over the weekend, Strasser was charged with a criminal misdemeanor count of fleeing an officer. He’s due in Milwaukee County Circuit Court on July 16th. Investigators said a police sergeant tried to stop Strasser’s car for driving erratically. During a chase, officials said he was driving with no lights on as he blew through a stop sign – and other cars had to swerve to avoid hitting him. At one point, the driver was going 60-miles-an-hour in a 30-zone. Police said Strasser eventually stopped in a parking lot, and he kept refusing to show his hands and follow orders – so officers pulled him out of his vehicle to the ground where Strasser was hit. Because of the video, police conducted a full internal investigation despite the lack of a citizen complaint. And an analyst noted that officer Ratzmann showed restraint by not hitting the suspect directly in the head. But officials said Ratzmann should not have used profanity during the incident, and he’ll get policy training about that.