Thursday State News Roundup: Fourteen-year-old boy to face homicide charges as an adultWisconsin News
-- A 14-year-old boy will continue to face adult charges for the brutal killing of a 78-year-old woman in Sheboygan Falls.
SHEBOYGAN FALLS - A 14-year-old boy will continue to face adult charges for the brutal killing of a 78-year-old woman in Sheboygan Falls.
Circuit Judge Timothy Van Akkeren said no yesterday to letting Nathan Paape be tried as a juvenile. The judge disagreed that Paape would get more access to mental health and education programs in a juvenile institution than in an adult prison. And Van Akkeren said the seriousness of the crime had to be considered. He called it one of the most heinous in his nearly quarter-century on the bench. Paape and 14-year-old Antonio Barbeau are both charged with homicide. Authorities said they killed Barbara Olson with a hammer and a hatchet, ransacked her house for money, and then spent it on marijuana and pizza. Barbeau decided to stay in adult court. He has pleaded insanity -- and if he’s found insane, he would go to a mental institution indefinitely. Otherwise, he faces life in prison. Paape has not entered a plea yet. Had he been found delinquent as a juvenile, he would have been freed at age 25, instead of facing a much longer adult penalty.
A Milwaukee police officer is due back in court this morning, on charges that he stole 200-dollars from a store where he was investigating a burglary. A judge will decide if 37-year-old Carl Howell should be ordered to stand trial. He’s charged with felony misconduct in office, and misdemeanor theft. Prosecutors said officer Howell responded to a convenience store burglary in late November, and the owner showed him a drawer of cash that the burglar didn’t touch. A few minutes later, Howell allegedly walked back to the drawer, put cash in his pocket, and walked out. He reportedly told investigators he needed the money because he was behind on his rent.
A food processing plant in Racine County has been on fire since about six last evening. Fire-fighters from 80 departments in southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois have been battling what’s now an eight-alarm fire at Echo Lake Farm Produce. The 70-thousand square-foot structure is located in Burlington near the downtown area. Mayor Bob Miller said 10 homes and an apartment were evacuated close by – and about 50 residents spent the night elsewhere. Miller said the fire was still out of control as of the 5 o’clock hour this morning. He said no fire-fighters or employees have been injured. About 300 people work at the plant. It was not immediately know where the fire had started within the plant. Echo Lake Farm Produce makes egg products and breakfast entrees.
Authorities say there are no signs of foul play in a house fire north of Wisconsin Rapids that killed three people early yesterday. A 79-year-old man, his 72-year-old wife, and their 38-year-old son all died. Wood County Sheriff Thomas Reichert said a county fire investigation team and the state Fire Marshal’s office are trying to determine the cause – but at this point, they believe it was an accident. The house was engulfed in flames when fire-fighters arrived. Units from seven fire departments responded. The fire broke out around 2:30 yesterday morning in the Wood County town of Sigel. The victims’ names were not immediately released.