CRIME AND COURT ROUNDUP: Business owner says he's wrongly accused of a 1992 double murder
The owner of a Western store in central Wisconsin says he's being wrongly-targeted as a suspect in a 1992 double-murder in nearby Waupaca County. Laine Shields told reporters yesterday that investigators searched his B-Bar-10 Western Store at Amherst for almost 12 hours on Tuesday, and again last March -- and they found no evidence either time. He said he consented to the searches because has nothing to hide. The state Justice Department refuses comment. The 69-year-old Shields said one of his former employees, Glendon Gouker, implicated him in the murders of Tanna Togstad and Timothy Mumbrue at their farmhouse near Weyauwega. Shields said he figured that Gouker brought up his name while seeking a plea deal in Oklahoma, so he could escape the death penalty. Gouker is serving four life sentences in Oklahoma for murder, rape, kidnapping, sodomy, and other charges. More recently, Gouker was convicted for a 1990 rape of a woman at a park in Iola in Waupaca County. At the time, authorities said Gouker was a person of interest in the farmhouse murders -- but he was never arrested for those. Shields said he hasn't seen Gouker in two decades, and has no connection to any of the crime victims.
A 100-thousand-dollar bond was set yesterday for a southern Wisconsin man accused of burning a missing woman in fire pit in his yard. 29-year-old Nathan Middleton of rural Evansville was charged in Rock County with hiding and mutilating a corpse. Authorities said Middleton advertised on Craigslist for sex, and 18-year-old Aprina Paul of Fitchburg answered the ad. The two met -- and Middleton claimed he found the woman dead in his bed on October 28th after they took drugs and had sex the previous night. Middleton stayed in his jail cell while appearing in court through a video hook-up. Middleton had been held since November first for violating a previous probation. A preliminary hearing was set for December 18th.
A five-thousand-dollar bond was set yesterday for a Manitowoc man, while he awaits charges in a hit-and-run road-rage crash that killed a teenager. The victim has been identified as 19-year-old Eric Neuman of Two Rivers. Authorities said Neuman and three other men went to a factory in Manitowoc late Tuesday night to settle a score with 22-year-old Shawn Lischka. Police said there was no fight at the plant, but Neuman and the other three drove off in a pick-up truck -- and Lischka pursued them through Manitowoc into Two Rivers. Officials said Lischka sideswiped Neuman's vehicle. The victim's truck then spun into a guardrail and ejected the driver. He died at a hospital. A 16-year-old boy in the truck was treated for a head injury. Two others in the truck were not hurt. A prosecutor said Lischka drove off after the crash, and was arrested at his home later after he tried hiding the damage to his vehicle. Lischka has not been charged yet. Police are recommending counts of hit-and-run causing death, and negligent homicide.
A man serving time in a federal prison in Wisconsin has been transferred to Utah, to face charges in a 12-year-old murder case. 32-year-old Vincent James was at the federal lockup in Oxford on unrelated charges, when Salt Lake City Police identified him as the man who shot-and-killed Leonel Perales in 2001. Investigators re-opened the case in 2012, and they charged the alleged get-away driver earlier this year. Officials said they began in February to consider James as a possible suspect -- and they did not use D-N-A or other new technology to prove he was at the murder scene. District Attorney Sim Gill said investigators used quote, "good old-fashioned shoe leather" as they re-interviewed some witnesses, and found others they couldn't reach in the past. James is now in a Utah jail under a one-million dollar bond.