State Crime and Court Roundup: The two candidates for Supreme Court will debate today in MadisonWisconsin News
-- The Wisconsin Supreme Court election is 27 days away – and today, the two candidates will appear together at a meeting of the Madison Rotary Club.
MADISON - The Wisconsin Supreme Court election is 27 days away – and today, the two candidates will appear together at a meeting of the Madison Rotary Club.
Incumbent Pat Roggensack and Marquette law professor Ed Fallone survived a primary contest last month. Roggensack is running on her experience of almost two decades as a judge – including her one 10-year Supreme Court term. Fallone says the current court is dysfunctional, and he wants to bring more civility. Meanwhile, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel has obtained a letter-of-apology that Roggensack wanted all the justices to sign and release last fall, but they didn’t. Her proposed letter was meant for the court as a whole to apologize to Wisconsinites, for the 2011 physical altercation between Justices David Prosser and Ann Walsh Bradley. The letter called the incident “inappropriate” and said the court would not repeat what she called “extraordinary conduct.” It did not recommend sanctions against anyone. Roggensack said it would have improved the public’s confidence in the state’s highest court. But Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson issued a critical response, calling the letter “instantly divisive.”
Three people are in custody after UW-Madison Police were told that shots were fired on the far west end of the campus. The Dane County 911 center received a call just before 9:30 last night, saying that up to five shots were fired in the Eagle Heights-University Houses area and a vehicle was leaving the scene. It’s where a number of faculty, staff, and graduate students live. No injuries were reported. Police said two persons-of-interest were taken into custody soon after the call. A third person was brought in almost two hours later. None of them were said to be affiliated with the UW. The university sent out a number of alerts about the situation to around 20-thousand campus subscribers. An all-clear was issued around midnight.
Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke has written a letter of apology to US Senator Lindsey Graham, for the way the city’s police chief spoke to the senator last week. Clarke said he was apologizing on behalf of his constituents, after Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn talked over the South Carolina Republican at a Senate hearing. Flynn testified in support of the proposed ban on assault weapons and other firearms restrictions. Clarke has vocally opposed gun control, and urged people to learn how to use guns and protect themselves. Chief Flynn interrupted the senator while he was questioning another witnesses – and the two talked over each other several times. Clarke said he has a forceful personality, but he told Senator Graham he would quote, “not even dream of coming up to Capitol Hill to disrespect and shout down a member of Congress.” Flynn said the gun measures would reduce street crime, but the sheriff said the chief’s real motive is gun control. Flynn said his testimony reflected the view of the nation’s leading police chiefs. The chief called Clarke’s comments entertaining, but not relevant to a serious discussion of the issues. __________________________________________________________________________
Toro is just fine, and his boss says he’ll go back to work on Friday. Toro is the Wood County Sheriff’s Department’s K-9 officer who went missing for 37 hours in a wooded area near Plover, before Deputy Doug Christianson found him yesterday. Sheriff Thomas Reichert said the four-year-old dog had a small cut to one of his paws, but otherwise he’s in excellent health. He was found feasting on a deer carcass about a half-mile from where he disappeared on Sunday night. The K-9 officer was sniffing out a vehicle and found drug evidence – and his handler, deputy Joe Zurfluh, was rewarding Toro when he ran off. Zurfluh and Reichert said Toro might have seen another animal which may have spurred him to run away. The sheriff says he’s looking into the possibility of a G-P-S tracking device for Toro, to make sure he doesn’t get lost again. He has a chip implanted so pet specialists with scanners can identify him.
A man who killed two people during a crime spree in Wisconsin and five other states will be put to death today in Ohio. 48-year-old Frederick Treesh has no appeals that could hold up his execution. He’ll die by lethal injection at nine a-m at a prison in Lucasville Ohio, about 100 miles south of Columbus. Treesh was condemned for shooting a security guard to death in 1994 while robbing an adult book-store near Cleveland, and trying to shoot police officers who pursued him. It was the final act in a series of bank-and-business robberies, car-jackings, sexual assaults, and another murder in Michigan. There was no word on what his Wisconsin crimes were. The courts have no record of them, since Ohio was the only state where Treesh was prosecuted. He failed to win clemency a month ago, saying he was a cocaine addict at the time – and the drugs made him do what he did. Ohio Governor John Kasich rejected Treesh’s final plea for mercy.
An aide to state Representative Brett Hulsey recently told Capitol Police that she feared for her safety, after he brought a box-cutter to the office and pressured her to get self-defense training with him. The Journal-Sentinel said the Madison Democrat also considered bringing a gun to the Capitol, even though he does not have a state concealed weapons’ permit. An officer said the woman’s claim needs to be investigated, and that’s apparently where it sits. Hulsey admitted the claims, and said he had no intention to hurt his aide. He said he just wanted to make a point about Republican security measures that he’s against – like carrying concealed guns in the Assembly chamber. Hulsey said he wanted to bring a muzzle-loading rifle to the Assembly floor to prove his point, but was told that he couldn’t. And he said that if lawmakers and their aides are expected to defend themselves, self-defense training should be provided. Capitol Police Chief David Erwin recently urged staffers to punch aggressive protestors if they feel threatened. Hulsey said he wanted to take what he called an irrational policy to quote, “its logical conclusion.” The aide is on vacation. She’ll be assigned to a different Assembly office when she returns.
An Eau Claire man has pleaded insanity to a charge that he killed another man with a crowbar last June. A public defender for 52-year-old James Olson entered pleas of innocent and innocent-by-reason of mental disease yesterday. A judge appointed a psychologist to determine if Olson can help prepare a defense for a possible trial. The findings of that exam will be reviewed at a hearing on April 18th. Olson is charged with first-degree intentional homicide. Prosecutors said he killed 39-year-old Paul Oberle with a crowbar, after the victim returned home from his job on the overnight shift at a grocery store. His father found Oberle’s body in his yard.