State Crime and Court Roundup: Medford business owner arrested on arsonWisconsin News
-- The operator of a Medford convenience store has posted a $10,000 bond, while awaiting charges connected with a fire that destroyed the business.
MEDFORD - The operator of a Medford convenience store has posted a $10,000 bond, while awaiting charges connected with a fire that destroyed the business.
David Johnson of Medford, who turns 35 today, had a bond hearing yesterday in Taylor County Circuit Court. He was arrested on Monday on a possible arson charge. The fire destroyed the Main Street Convenience Store in downtown Medford last Friday morning. Police Chief Ken Coyer says he knows what caused the blaze, but he’s not saying more about as while local officers and the state Justice Department continue to investigate.
An inquest jury could decide today whether three Milwaukee police officers should be charged with criminal misdemeanors, for letting Derek Williams die in their custody. More than a week of testimony ended yesterday, and special prosecutor John Franke will give jurors a closing statement this morning before they begin to deliberate. Franke said felony charges are not appropriate, due to the nature of the evidence presented. Instead, jurors will consider whether to support possible misdemeanor counts against three officers for not rendering aid. Those three are Richard Ticcioni, who restrained Williams – and Jeffrey Cline and Jason Bleichwehl, who were in a squad car where Williams collapsed after complaining that he couldn’t breathe. The incident happened in 2011, and a newly-released video last year showed the 22-year-old Williams gasping for air before collapsing. He was wanted for a street robbery and ran away for a block-and-a-half before he was nabbed. Franke said there’s not enough evidence to prove that Williams’ confinement – or a late request for medical help – were substantial factors in the suspect’s death.
A sheriff’s deputy in central Wisconsin and another man were both shot-and-wounded last evening. Adams County sheriff’s deputies said they and officers from the town of Rome were called just after 7:30 to a report of suspicious activity in the town of Big Flats. Officers entered a residence and shots were fired – and both a deputy and a male in the building were wounded. Other details were not immediately released, including the victims’ names or their conditions. Officials said there’s no danger to the public as a result of the incident, and an investigation continues.
A UW-La Crosse student found dead in a ditch last weekend died from hypothermia and had a preliminary blood alcohol level of .21. That’s according to an autopsy performed in Madison yesterday on 23-year-old Neala Frye. She was missing since Saturday night, and her body was found the next evening just north of La Crosse in Onalaska. Police say they do not suspect foul play, but they’ve asked the State Justice Department to help with an investigation that continues. Officers are still waiting for the results of toxicology tests, and they’re due back in several weeks. Frye was last seen at a bar where she and another woman were planning out a promotional event for a massage-and-tanning studio. When she failed to show up for work Sunday morning, friends and relatives began searching for her. Officials said her body was found about 100 yards from a railroad track where some of her credit cards had been dropped.