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Crime and Court Roundup: Waupaca man gets six months in jail for killing deer with his snowmobile

A Waupaca man will spend six months in jail and two-and-a-half years on probation for killing deer with his snowmobile. 26-year-old Nicholas Hermes was sentenced yesterday. He pleaded no contest to three felony counts of animal mistreatment, and three counts of hunting deer out-of-season. Four similar charges were dropped in a plea deal. Hermes was one of three people who ran down a half-dozen deer on a snowmobile trail near Weyauwega in January of 2009. The case drew national attention. The landowner closed the trail, forcing others to ride miles out of their way. Animal rights' groups condemned the attack. And statewide snowmobile groups were put on the defensive, as they spoke up for the integrity of their sport. Besides the jail and probation, Hermes must pay 62-hundred dollars in fines and court costs. He was the second person to be sentenced in the case. Last year, 27-year-old Rory Kuenzi was given an 11-year prison sentence - but it did not result in any additional time on top of a 23-year sentence he was already serving for the hit-and-run traffic death of Kevin McCoy in 2004. The final defendant, Kuenzi's 26-year-old brother Robby, is scheduled to go on trial April third.


A student at Milwaukee Hamilton High School is being transferred to an alternative program, after she was arrested for attacking an assistant principal. School spokesman Tony Tagliavia said a 16-year-old girl attacked the administrator on Monday afternoon, possibly because she was upset about being suspended. Police officers who are stationed at the school responded quickly - and they used pepper spray to get the youngster under control. An officer was sprayed during the incident, and he treated at a hospital and later released. Tagliavia called the incident "troubling," and he said she'll be in an alternative program for students with behavioral issues. The girl was not in school yesterday.


Madison Police have arrested a man wanted for the murder of his landlord last weekend. Officers said they found 24-year-old Edgar Salinas-Leal in a vacant apartment in Madison around 3:50 this morning - and he was taken into custody without incident. Salinas-Leal was charged earlier this week with first-degree intentional homicide in the shooting death of 38-year-old Darrell Ballweg last Friday night. Dane County prosecutors said Salinas-Leal was upset that Ballweg had refused to give food to Salinas-Leal's wife - so the suspect went to get a gun, and he returned and shot Ballweg. Officials said he then fled with his wife and their infant child in Ballweg's van. The woman and baby were found unharmed on Monday, and the vehicle was found abandoned in a parking lot on Tuesday.


A 75-year-old Kenosha County man fought off a pair of would-be carjackers yesterday. According to the sheriff's department, two teenagers from Iowa pulled into Alex Weber's driveway and claimed they were out of gas. He bought them fuel. And he started pouring it into their tank when one of the teens tried to choke Weber with a tire iron - and he tried to get his female friend to grab the victim's keys. Sheriff David Beth said Weber fought off the pair without giving up his keys - and the two fled in their vehicle before they were stopped. A 19-year-old man from Mount Pleasant Iowa and a 19-year-old woman from New London Iowa were arrested. Beth said they chose the wrong person to mess with.