State Crime and Court Roundup: Attorney General asking Supreme Court to overturn the photo ID lawWisconsin News
-- Wisconsin’s attorney general has again asked the State Supreme Court to take over a pair of cases which challenge the state’s photo I-D law for voting – and to consider them as one.
Wisconsin’s attorney general has again asked the State Supreme Court to take over a pair of cases which challenge the state’s photo ID law for voting – and to consider them as one.
Republican J.B. Van Hollen was hoping the court would restore the ID mandate for this week’s elections. But two appellate courts have spent months reviewing lawsuits from two Dane County judges who struck down the photo ID requirement – and neither court has made a decision yet. In September, the Supreme Court said it could not make a joint decision on both cases, because the state had not filed initial appellate briefs in one of them. Van Hollen said those briefs were filed this week – and that should allow the justices to act. It’s the third time the state has tried to speed up a review of two lawsuits, which were filed by the League of Women Voters and a coalition of black and Hispanic groups in Milwaukee. In both cases, Madison judges ruled that the photo ID requirement illegally discourages the poor, elderly, minorities, and college students from voting. But Van Hollen said all those people can get free ID’s under the law – and he believes it’s a constitutional way to fight voter fraud. Majority Republicans in the Legislature passed the photo ID mandate last year, but it’s only been used once – and that was during the local primaries in February.
Two people have been charged with helping a Dane County man kill his autistic step-brother. Prosecutors said 28-year-old Robert McCumber of Mazomanie owned the land where Matthew Graville’s body was hidden and buried. And the victim’s stepmother, 49-year-old Laura Robar of Fort Atkinson, allegedly conspired to hide the body, and stole money and food stamps from Graville after he died. The step-brother, 28-year-old Jeffrey Vogelsberg, was arrested in Washington State this week. He faces extradition to Wisconsin on charges of homicide and hiding a corpse. McCumber is charged in Dane County with hiding a corpse, and Robar with two counts of identity theft. Both are being held under $100,000 dollar bonds – and both are due back in court next Tuesday for preliminary hearings. Authorities said Vogelsburg abused and tortured the 27-year-old Graville, placed his body in a freezer, and then buried him. The body was found in a five-foot-deep grave in a wooded area near Lone Rock. Vogelsburg was arrested at a military base where his wife works. Prosecutors said she knew about the crime. She has not been charged, but officials say more charges in the case are possible. WISC-TV in Madison said Robar was fired yesterday from a job at the Dane County Human Services department.
A trial is underway in Minnesota for a woman accused of killing her ex-husband in the Gopher State, and her boyfriend in Wisconsin. 39-year-old Angelina O’Mara is charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of James O’Mara of Sauk Rapids, Minnesota. He was found dead last November in his apartment with a gunshot wound to the head. The next day, police in Ashland found the body of the woman’s boyfriend, 36-year-old Michael Pies, in a motel room. Angelina O’Mara was charged with first-degree intentional homicide for that slaying. Authorities say her Wisconsin case won’t begin until her current Minnesota case is wrapped up.
A 70-year old Madison man says he was trying to get drivers to slow down by showing a radar gun out of the driver’s side window of his car. He got more attention than he expected, and not the kind of attention he wanted. Somebody called police about a man pointing a gun at cars on Chapel Hill Road. Madison police drew their weapons and handcuffed the man. The tense situation was diffused quickly and police say the only mistake the 70 year old made was not notifying them of his plans. It apparently isn’t against the law for someone to aim a radar gun at traffic and the man was allowed to keep the old, but functioning radar unit.