Crime and Court Roundup: Gun control not the only solution to street violence, says law enforcementWisconsin News
-- Law enforcement leaders from Wisconsin and the Midwest say other things are needed beside gun control to reduce the street violence they see each day.
Law enforcement leaders from Wisconsin and the Midwest say other things are needed beside gun control to reduce the street violence they see each day. Those attending a summit in Minneapolis yesterday wanted stronger community partnerships – along with more cooperation between various government agencies. Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett and Minneapolis Mayor R-T Rybak planned the day-long meeting a year ago – months before mass slayings took place in their areas, plus the Connecticut school tragedy. Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn said those mass shootings need federal action – but he said daily killings cannot be ignored, either. Flynn called those a “slow-motion mass murder.” Barrett said he and other mayors feel pressure from those opposed to changing gun laws. But he added quote, “We are fighting for the freedom of the people of this country to be safe.” The summit took place on the same day that Vice President Joe Biden announced a consensus on some federal gun control measures, including a ban on assault weapons, which he’ll give to the president next week. Rybak said the federal measures are helpful, but they won’t limit what the Upper Midwest needs to do. For one thing, Rybak says federal laws must be changed so law enforcement can share information about firearms with each other. Rybak said he was appalled when he went to a crime scene, and saw that a federal firearms agent could not legally information to the local police about the guns or suspects in that crime. The local authorities also said they need more information about the mental health of those seeking gun licenses.
The first trial is scheduled later this month in a crackdown on protests at the State Capitol that began last summer. 37-year-old Jason Huberty of Madison is scheduled to go on trial January 23rd on a non-criminal citation for obstructing access to a passageway. Three other citations against Huberty were also set for trials that day – but they’ve been dismissed, along with two other citations in which trials had been set for later dates. He and other protestors are being represented for free by former Kenosha County prosecutor and state D-O-T attorney Robert Jambois. He tells the Madison Capital Times that prosecutors are trying to tie his access obstruction charge to what the state calls an unpermitted demonstration by the Solidarity Singers. They continue to sing protest songs at the Capitol each day attacking Governor Scott Walker and his administration. And the group refuses to get a permit that the state requires for activities inside the Capitol building. Huberty still has three other citations in which two trials are pending in early February.
A northwest Wisconsin man has pleaded innocent to shooting his wife to death. A Rusk County judge ruled yesterday that there’s enough evidence to put 66-year-old Donald Lazar of Hawkins on trial for first-degree intentional homicide. Prosecutors said Lazar shot his wife Darlene multiple times on December 30th. He told officers that she was on the phone with police at the time – and he pointed his 22-caliber rifle at her because he only wanted to scare her. Police said Lazar then re-loaded the weapon and shot her in the head. Attorneys in the case are scheduled to meet with the judge by phone on January 25th, and a trial date could be set at that time. For now, Lazar is jailed under a half-million-dollar bond.
An 18-year-old Milwaukee man will spend at least 52 years in prison for the brutal murder of a 15-year-old girl last April. Eduardo Ivanez was given a life term yesterday, after a jury found him guilty of first-degree intentional homicide in the slaying of Stephanie Romero. But Circuit Judge Jeffrey Wagner gave Ivanez a chance at freedom, by declaring that he can be eligible for a supervised release when he turns 70. According to prosecutors, Ivanez and Romero went to a nearby vacant house where they had sex – and when three friends arrived, they noticed that the girl was bleeding. One of the friends asked what was happening, and Ivanez then stomped on Romero’s face and started choking her. She was then carried to a bathroom, and her personal items were stolen – including a knife that was thrown away. Police said Ivanez then tried having sex with Romero’s body before hiding her in a crawl space of the vacant house two days later.