Crime and Court Roundup: Danbury couple facing child neglect charges turned themselves inWisconsin News
-- A northwest Wisconsin couple charged in the death of their three-year-old daughter turned themselves in yesterday.
A northwest Wisconsin couple charged in the death of their three-year-old daughter turned themselves in yesterday. 42-year-old Thomas Williams and 33-year-old Jenna Danish, both of Danbury, are due in Burnett County Circuit Court October 10th on felony charges of child neglect resulting in death. Charges and arrest warrants were filed last Friday. The couple is charged in the death of three-year-old Renna Williams. She was reportedly searching for a dog when she wandered away from the family’s home in mid-August. Authorities said her mother was sleeping at the time, and her father went in the house to get a drink. A neighbor reported seeing Jenna walking in a street, and hundreds of volunteers searched for the girl until she was found dead the next day in a shallow creek about 25 yards from her house. The death had been ruled an accident.
A final pre-trial hearing will be held this morning for a former Walker aide in Milwaukee County who’s accused of illegally doing campaign work on taxpayers’ time. 43-year-old Kelly Rindfleisch is scheduled to go on trial October 15th on four felony charges of misconduct in public office. Prosecutors said she spent a lot of time campaigning for Republicans when she was supposed to be working as a deputy chief-of-staff for Walker when he was the Milwaukee County executive. Officials said she spent much of her time on Brett Davis’s failed campaign for lieutenant governor in 2010. Prosecutors have listed both Davis and Walker on a list of 35 possible witnesses for the scheduled trial. Rindfleisch has tried a couple of times to get her charges dropped, but a judge refused to go along. Her lawyer contended that some of the charges were based on statements she gave while under immunity in 2002, when she was a state legislative aide in a State Capitol scandal that also involved illegal campaigning. But the judge in the Milwaukee County case said the immunity no longer applies.
Testimony begins today in the trial of a man charged with killing a woman in La Crosse six-and-a-half months ago. Prosecutors said 45-year-old Izelia Golatt strangled 35-year-old Kristen Tabbert Rodgers in early March, soon after the two traded dozens of text messages and phone calls in her search for crack cocaine. But the defense claims that Rodgers was choked during rough sex the previous day – and she actually died from cocaine in her system and exposure to 30-degree temperatures. Surveillance video showed Golatt’s van leaving a convenience store around two a-m last March sixth with a person inside matching Rodgers’ description. A short time later, witnesses saw the van with no passenger in it. And five hours later, a scrap collector found Rodgers’ dead body in a dirt lot. Golatt was convicted of second-degree murder in Illinois in 1993, but jurors will not hear that fact in court. The jury will be able to examine D-N-A evidence, even though the defense says it could have matched over 400 other people. The jury was picked late last week. The trial is expected to last for most of this week.