State Crime and Court Roundup: Parishioner stole $200K from a Lutheran ChurchWisconsin News
-- A Lutheran synod in Milwaukee is urging its local churches to put tighter controls on their finances, after a parishioner admitted stealing 200-thousand dollars.
MILWAUKEE - A Lutheran synod in Milwaukee is urging its local churches to put tighter controls on their finances, after a parishioner admitted stealing $200,000.
The Milwaukee Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America has recommended changes in by-laws for congregations to safeguard their money. That was after a member of Zion Lutheran Church at Ashippun in Dodge County reportedly stole 200-thousand from an endowment fund he was overseeing – and he said he used to pay bills and help struggling relatives. The man has promised to pay it back. Pastor Bob Thays said the main concern of fellow parishioners has been about the man’s family. And he wrote in a newsletter quote, “It’s one of the things that make me proud to be the pastor … We all stumble … We will need the forgiveness of others.” Authorities may not be as kind. Dodge County sheriff’s officials are investigating, and they expect to refer the case to the district attorney’s office within the next two weeks for possible charges.
A new one-million-dollar bond was set yesterday for Marshfield murder suspect Gabriel Campos, on a charge that he tried to have a fellow jail inmate kill a man that Campos’s ex-girlfriend was seeing. The 21-year-old Campos was already charged with homicide in the stabbing death of 18-year-old Maisie McCullough last September. Yesterday, he appeared in Wood County Circuit Court on a new charge that he offered an assault rifle, a car, and 46-hundred dollars to a jail inmate if he would kill a 24-year-old Junction City man. All those items were impounded after Campos was arrested a day after McCullough was killed. Campos also changed his plea on his original homicide count to insanity – and Circuit Judge Todd Wolf ordered a mental exam. Campos allegedly told the cellmate he stabbed the woman because she was seeing another man. He and McCullough had broken up before she died. The inmate went to authorities with Campos’s alleged request. And Campos was charged Friday with soliciting a homicide. Wolf increased the defendant’s previous five-million dollar bond to six-million. Campos is scheduled to enter a plea to the new charge on February 26th. A four-day trial on his homicide charge is set to begin June 24th.
Two people have died in West Bend from separate heroin overdoses in the past week. 34-year-old Jennifer Kahut was found dead in her apartment last Wednesday. Then on Saturday, police said 20-year-old Matthew Vickman died in the bedroom of his home. Two people are facing charges in Kahut’s death. Bonds have been set at 45-thousand-dollars each for a 35-year-old West Bend man and a 36-year-old Milwaukee man. Charges are pending in Vickman’s death. Police said they arrested a 22-year-old West Bend man who allegedly supplied the heroin that Vickman took.
A transportation company from Monroe is being sued in federal court for allegedly defrauding one-and-a-half million dollars from the state’s Medicaid program. The government said Anglin Transport submitted over 100-thousand claims to Medicaid for false reimbursements for just over four years, ending in May of 2010. And officials said the company’s owner, Anthony Anglin, spent the money on SUV’s, a sports car, and boats for himself – an ATV and SUV for a female friend – and supplies for a construction company he owned. The lawsuit was filed in Federal Court in Madison. It said Anglin filed almost 56,000 claims for transporting patients by cots-and-stretchers to medical facilities – but investigators said the company’s vehicles were not able to fasten those devices in. The government also said Anglin Transport submitted 46-thousand Medicaid claims for rides on days when patients never used the service. Media reports say Anglin Transport stopped providing specialized medical rides since May of 2010, when the alleged fraud ended – and the state dissolved the company in mid-2011. The construction business is still operating. Anglin has not commented.
Waupaca County authorities want to know if a man accused of sexually assaulting a woman in Iola in 1990 was involved in the killings of a couple two years later. At a news conference today, Waupaca County Sheriff Brad Hardel would not say why Glendon Gouker’s alleged sex attack could be connected to the slayings of 35-year-old Tim Mumbrue and 23-year-old Tanna Togstad. The couple was found dead at the woman’s home in Weyauwega in 1992. The 41-year-old Gouker moved to Oklahoma in 1993 – and officials said he’s awaiting trial there for a murder of a 19-year-old man and the kidnapping and rape of the man’s girlfriend. In the meantime, he’s been extradited to Wisconsin for an initial court appearance Thursday in Waupaca on his new charge of first-degree sexual assault. Hardel said DNA linked Gouker to the 1990 sex attack at a park in Iola – and while Gouker is a person of interest in the Mumbrue and Togstad homicides, the sheriff is looking for more information from the public about those two killings. Officials believe there are still people in the Waupaca area who know about the incident.
Already facing a June trial for murder in his ex-girlfriend’s death, a Marshfield man faces more charges. While he was being held in the Wood County Jail, prosecutors say Gabriel Campos tried to hire his cellmate to kill the dead woman’s boyfriend. Campos is accused of offering the other inmate 46 hundred dollars, a car and an AK-47 assault rifle to commit the murder. Campos will make a court appearance February 26th to face the new charges. He is already accused of stabbing 18 year old Maisie McCullough to death last September. Campos and McCullough are the parents of a two-year old sun. He was arrested the day after McCullough’s body was found at a motel in Wisconsin Rapids. The son was with him at the time.
Waukesha police say a 23 year old drunk driving suspect bit the officer arresting her last Friday. Breanna K. Vetterman is charged with battery of a police officer, resisting an officer and causing soft tissue injury, operating while intoxicated, second offense, and operating while her license was revoked. The Waukesha police officer says he stopped her vehicle shortly after midnight due to a brake light which was burned out. He says Vetterman smelled of liquor and her speech was slurred. She failed several field sobriety tests and her blood alcohol content was measured at .134. Vetterman had a previous drunken driving convicted three years ago and she was supposed to have an ignition interlock device on her vehicle. At the hospital, while three officers were trying to subdue her as she resisted, she alleged bit one of them. If she is convicted, the Delafield woman could spend up to a dozen years in prison.
Two people from Kewaskum have been arrested in Florida, after they allegedly stole a pick-up truck at gunpoint from an employee of a car dealership. 39-year-old Scott Kudek and 24-year-old Kayla Goemer took the vehicle out for a test-drive last Wednesday with a salesman at a Russ Darrow dealership in West Bend. When they entered the town of Farmington, authorities said Kudek threatened the salesman with a knife and ordered him to get out of the vehicle. Officials said the two suspects allegedly stole gas and took off after that. Washington County sheriff’s deputies obtained arrest warrants for Kudek and Goemer, and they were picked-up early yesterday in Hillsborough County, Florida. Deputies said the truck was recovered. Both suspects are charged with armed carjacking, reckless endangerment, and bail jumping – all felonies. They’re expected to be extradited back to Wisconsin to face their charges.
A 32-year-old woman is under arrest for the killing of a 35-year-old man in Milwaukee. Police said the two were quarreling before she shot the man to death. It was reported around 7:30 this morning at a home on Milwaukee’s north side. Police continue to investigate. Also, Milwaukee Police have released the names of two other people killed since Friday morning. Kenneth Jackson of Milwaukee died around 10 Friday morning in a north side neighborhood, and a 22-year-old woman is recovering after she was shot. 21-year-old Jordin Crawley of Milwaukee was shot-to-death early yesterday. A 23-year-old man was wounded, and he’s recovering at a hospital. Suspects are being sought in both those incidents.
The brother of a woman who was brutally murdered in Manitowoc County says he is certain that the homicide convictions of her two killers will never be overturned. Mike Halbach says appeals will continue for the foreseeable future – but he believes the outcomes will be similar to the previous appeals made by Steven Avery and his nephew Brendan Dassey. Last week, a state appeals court rejected a new trial for the 23-year-old Dassey, for the Halloween 2005 burning, raping, and shooting of Teresa Halbach at the Avery family’s auto salvage yard. It’s one of Wisconsin’s most notorious crimes, because it happened two-and-a-half years after Avery was freed from prison where he served 18 years of a rape he didn’t commit. And Avery was among the first in the nation to be acquitted by DNA evidence – only to be convicted later by DNA. Dassey’s attorneys say they’ll ask the State Supreme Court to overturn his conviction. A similar appeal by Avery was rejected last year by an appellate court. The 25-year-old Halbach was at the salvage yard to photograph vehicles for Auto Trader magazine. The 50-year-old Avery is serving a life prison term. Dassey is also sentenced for life, but he’s eligible for a supervised release in about 35 years.
A judge in Milwaukee ruled yesterday that a 76-year-old man is mentally able to help with his own defense, on charges that he killed a 13-year-old neighbor. A mental health expert testified that John Spooner is competent to stand trial for the shooting death of young Darius Simmons last May. Spooner faces a homicide charge, after he suspected that the boy stole a number of guns from the man’s home. Defense lawyer Franklyn Gimbel said he’s concerned that Spooner’s health has gotten so bad, he might make it until May sixth when his trial is scheduled. The next court hearing is scheduled for March 28th. A pastor for the victim’s family, the Reverend Steve Jerbi, said the competency ruling is what the family expected.