Crime and Court Roundup: Programs that help crime victims are getting less money from their accusersWisconsin News
-- Programs that help crime victims in Wisconsin are getting less money from the people who commit those crimes.
Programs that help crime victims in Wisconsin are getting less money from the people who commit those crimes. The Legislative Audit Bureau found that the amount of surcharges from criminal fines dropped from five-point-nine million dollars in 2008, to five-point-seven million in 2010. And the drop came despite a seven-dollar increase in the surcharges. Auditors said some of the money was not deposited correctly – and there might have been a drop in convictions in which the surcharges applied. State Attorney General J-B Van Hollen says there needs to be a more stable source of funds for the crime victim programs that benefit from the surcharges.
One of Milwaukee’s most notorious criminals has lost a bid to have one of his convictions dropped. A state appeals court upheld Michael Lock’s 2008 conviction for killing two rival drug dealers, and kidnapping-and-torturing another dealer. Lock’s attorneys claimed that Circuit Judge Jeffrey Wagner made mistakes in his rulings – and he should not have let the jury in his trial hear that Lock had committed other crimes. But the First District Appellate Court in Milwaukee said Lock was trying to quote, “nit-pick” at the evidence. Appeals Judge Kitty Brennan said there was no doubt that Lock received a fair trial – and that he was guilty based on the heavy volume of the state’s evidence. The court ruled on the first of three convictions against Lock. He’s still appealing a jury’s finding that he ran a prostitution ring throughout Wisconsin and the Midwest. A federal court also found Lock guilty of running a mortgage fraud scheme. Last fall, police said they were investigating possible new evidence that Lock’s crime operation buried four bodies under concrete in Milwaukee.
A southwest Wisconsin woman accused of killing her husband in a drunk driving crash has pleaded innocent to O-W-I homicide. 53-year-old Sharon Gray of De Soto was ordered to stand trial after she waived her preliminary hearing yesterday in Vernon County Circuit Court. She remains free on a signature bond, and all parties involved with review the status of the case on September sixth. Prosecutors said Gray lost control of her vehicle on a curve in May in the Vernon County town of Wheatland. Gray’s husband Jason was thrown from the vehicle and later died.
A Milwaukee woman is due back in court next Tuesday for allegedly shooting her estranged husband to death. 31-year-old Marissa Flores is being held under a 100-thousand-dollar bond on a charge of first-degree reckless homicide. 33-year-old Savonte Cooper was killed July 30th in the apartment they shared for five years until Cooper moved out in February. Prosecutors said the two argued about what to eat for dinner, and the way Cooper knocked over a pedestal fan. Authorities said he threatened to break a window and beat Flores before she grabbed a gun next to her bed and shot him. She claimed she was only trying to scare him. Officials said Cooper gave the gun to Flores so she could protect herself after a burglary in her apartment. At her next court appearance, a judge will decide if there’s enough evidence to put Flores on trial.