Crime and Court Roundup: Appeals court denies homicide conviction against Brookfield manWisconsin News
-- A state appeals court has refused to drop a homicide conviction against a Brookfield man for strangling-and-burning his girlfriend, and dumping her ashes in an icy Lake Winnebago.
A state appeals court has refused to drop a homicide conviction against a Brookfield man for strangling-and-burning his girlfriend, and dumping her ashes in an icy Lake Winnebago. Brandon Mueller, who’s now 39, tried to reduce his life prison sentence for the slaying of 28-year-old Renee Redmer of Waukesha. He claimed he had an ineffective attorney at his trial – and he should have been given a chance to plead guilty or no contest to a mutilation charge, to try-and-convince jurors that the killing was not intentional. The appellate court did not buy any of those arguments. Redmer had disappeared for two years until Mueller told a friend he strangled her at her mother’s home in Fond du Lac. The mother was later sentenced to eight years in prison, and the friend got six years – both for helping Mueller burn-and-dump Redmer’s remains. Authorities said the slaying stemmed from a fight after he flushed the woman’s heroin down a toilet. Mueller denied causing the death, but admitted burning the body.
A couple will spend time in prison for orchestrating a five-million-dollar mortgage fraud scheme in both Wisconsin and Minnesota. Federal Judge David Doty of Minneapolis sentenced 52-year-old James Hoffman yesterday to six-and-a-half years behind bars. And he must pay 344-thousand dollars in restitution to his victims. Hoffman’s 53-year-old wife Teresa was sentenced to a year-and-a-day in prison. The couple is from Stillwater Minnesota. They pleaded guilty in February. Prosecutors said James Hoffman conspired to defraud mortgage lenders from 2001-through-’09, and his wife joined the scheme five years after it began. Officials said the Hoffmans employed fake buyers to purchase real estate in both Wisconsin and Minnesota – and the couple kept much of the proceeds from those loans.
For the second time this year, officials are cracking down on an “Occupy Madison” encampment several blocks away from the State Capitol. About a dozen homeless people set up tents last month, at the same place where they spent last winter before being ordered to leave in May. Mayor Paul Soglin said the tents go against city-and-state laws. He said the Occupy camp turned into a public nuisance last winter – and it became a popular place for crime. But homeless advocate Brenda Konkol said the campers feel safer in a group, instead of scattering into wooded areas. Mayor Soglin says the homeless campers have choices to stay in shelters.
Three southern Wisconsin men are due back in court on Tuesday, after being convicted and sentenced for illegally shining-and-shooting deer. 23-year-old Joshua Beyer of Janesville, 22-year-old Chris Kummer of Milton, and 20-year-old Chris Taylor of Evansville pleaded no contest in Rock County to numerous counts of illegal deer shining. Beyer was ordered to spend a jail in jail, and was fined a total of almost 11-thousand dollars on seven misdemeanor shining convictions. Kummer and Taylor were both fined around three-thousand-dollars. Kummer was also given probation for three years on seven shining convictions, while Taylor pleaded no contest to two counts. All three defendants also had their hunting privileges suspended or revoked. The D-N-R said they were convicted for illegally shining and shooting at seven deer – but the numbers of animals were most likely a lot more. The case began when a Rock County sheriff’s officer saw people in two pick-up trucks shining into a field last December. Authorities investigated for five months before charges were filed in May.