State Crime and Court Roundup: Sikh community satisfied with FBI investigation since the shootingWisconsin News
-- The Wisconsin Sikh community says it’s generally satisfied with the FBI’s investigation into the August fifth shooting massacre at the Sikh Temple in Oak Creek.
OAK CREEK - The Wisconsin Sikh community says it’s generally satisfied with the FBI’s investigation into the Aug. 5 shooting massacre at the Sikh Temple in Oak Creek.
The temple’s president was among six people killed. His son, Amardeep Kaleka, says his group’s focus is to do what it can to prevent such a tragedy from ever happening again. The FBI said yesterday that it wrapped up its investigation into the shootings – and it found that gunman Wade Michael Page acted alone. Milwaukee special agent Teresa Carlson said her agency checked out 200 leads, interviewed 300 people, and gathered 200 pieces of evidence. Despite Page’s connection to white supremacy, the FBI said it found no evidence that any supremist group had planned or directed the attacks. And there were no indications of an ongoing threat to the Sikh community. Since the massacre, Sikh members have asked Congress to force the FBI to start tracking hate crimes against their community.
Police in the central Wisconsin village of Stratford are looking for the person who left a bomb threat in a bathroom at the middle-and-high-school complex. The building was evacuated around 1:40 yesterday afternoon. Fire chief Bill Griesbach said it was about 20 minutes before the note said the school would blow up. A nearby elementary school was also evacuated. Police said X-rays in the area of the bomb threat turned up nothing. Teachers joined a regional bomb squad as they scoured through the classrooms and locker rooms – and they found nothing. An all-clear was given around 3:45. Stratford Police Chief Korey Schillinger said the school district did the appropriate thing by letting the youngsters leave. They were sent to a pair of church parking lots, where buses eventually took many students home. But those who drove to the high school had to wait until the all-clear was given.
A Minnesota man has been ordered to stand trial on charges that he killed his girlfriend near Wausau, stole two guns and a pick-up truck, and eluded officers who tried to arrest him. A Marathon County judge ruled yesterday that there’s enough evidence to order further proceedings against 21-year-old Richi Vue of Saint Paul. He’s scheduled to enter pleas January third to five felony counts of homicide, theft, vehicle theft, fleeing officers, and possessing guns as a convicted felon. Prosecutors said Vue shot 20-year-old Lee Xiong to death on October 13th at her family’s apartment in Weston, after they argued about a drug deal earlier in the day. Vue now claims he fired the weapon by accident. Officers from Marathon and Clark counties tracked down the suspect after he allegedly tried to elude them in a wooded area near Abbotsford – and he was arrested after a short chase. Authorities said he was driving a struck stolen from a Wausau area dealership about a month before the murder – and officers recovered two weapons stolen from a gun shop in Lincoln County. Vue remains in jail under a million-dollar bond.
Kenosha’s Fire-and-Police Commission has ordered an investigation into an incident in which an officer fired a Taser stun gun at a man who was apparently about to get into a fist fight. Chief John Morrissey will decide how to conduct the investigation – and whether he’ll bring in officials from the outside to review the matter. But the commission wants the probe finished in 90 days. The case involves an apparent discrepancy between an officer’s written report and a squad car video on the Taser shooting, which happened in July. A Kenosha police officer wrote that he saw two men actively fighting in a street when the squad car approached. But video from the vehicle showed that both men were standing, and neither had his fists raised. The officer reportedly shot the Taser at one of the men within 15 seconds after getting out of the squad car. A defense lawyer said her client could have hit his head on the pavement after being Tasered so quickly. Yesterday, the attorney – Denise Hertz-McGrath – asked the commission to find out the truth about what happened.
Milwaukee’s Catholic Archdiocese says it will fight in court to prevent its local churches from having to pay anything toward the Chapter-11 bankruptcy in the archdiocese. Judge Susan Kelley will hold a hearing December sixth on a request by creditors – including those sexually abused by priests – to be compensated with assets from the more than 200 parishes in the 10-county archdiocese. About 575 sex abuse victims are seeking compensation from the archdiocese as part of the nearly two-year-old bankruptcy case. The church says it wants the judge to throw out 62 more claims, because those victims had previously signed settlement agreements in their cases. And it will ask Judge Kelley to let the church’s insurance carrier pay about 270 of the sex abuse claims. Civil courts previously refused to let the Milwaukee Archdiocese use insurance to pay sex abuse victims – but the church said a different policy applied in that case. In a letter to Catholics last week, Archbishop Jerome Listecki said he’s running out of options, but he promised to examine every legal avenue for resolving its bankruptcy. Besides abuse victims, the creditors include the medical insurers of retired priests – as well as the pension funds of the Archdiocese. Creditors’ attorney say the church’s legal reasoning is flawed – especially with its desire to prevent local churches from being tapped.