CRIME AND COURT ROUNDUP: No charges filed against Dane County sheriff's officers will killed a suspect
No charges will be filed against Dane County sheriff's officers who killed a domestic abuse suspect on May first at a home in the town of Primrose. District Attorney Ismael Ozanne reviewed evidence gathered by outside investigators. He ruled yesterday that the deputies acted appropriately when they shot-and-killed Dean Caccamo. Police said they were called to a home where Caccamo was brutally beating his mother and step-father. Officials said Caccamo pepper-sprayed a deputy, and grabbed another officer's shotgun. An officer shot and wounded the deputy who fighting to keep his shotgun -- and Caccamo then stabbed an officer who was trying to handcuff him. Another deputy tried subduing the suspect with a Taser stun gun, but could not do so. Caccamo later died after being shot in one of his lungs. A new state law requires two outside agencies to look into deaths which involve officers. District Attorney Ozanne noted that Dane County deputies exceeded the law's requirements by having officers from four police departments look into it -- Madison, Fitchburg, Sun Prairie, and the U-W Madison police force.
An autopsy is scheduled today on a 33-year-old man who went missing, and was later found dead in Wausau. His live-in girlfriend told police that she was looking for the man since Monday night -- and she found his body yesterday while walking on a trail which they enjoyed hiking. The man was found lying on rocks near the shore of Lake Wausau at the bottom of a steep embankment on the city's west side. A police official quoted a witness as saying the man left his house intoxicated, and he has a history of substance abuse. He had a severe head wound, but officials are not sure if it had anything to do with his death. Police say nothing's been ruled out for a possible cause of death. The man's name was not immediately released.
The Democrats' main candidate for governor agrees with Milwaukee's police chief who says Republicans do more to suppress votes than to suppress violence in the city. At a Milwaukee freeway construction site yesterday, Mary Burke said she'd work with Mayor Tom Barrett, city leaders, and neighborhood residents to reduce gun violence. That's after ten-year-old Sierra Guyton was shot in crossfire a week ago at a school playground. Burke said there is no single solution. She said the police need adequate resources, the city needs a strong education system, and it's important to engage families and students early on, and show them why schooling is important. The former Trek Bicycle executive said other cities have reduced their crime rates by getting neighborhoods to work with each other - and Milwaukee can do the same. Governor Scott Walker's campaign and Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos fought back at the notion that they're focused more on approving an acceptable voter I-D law than on fighting crime in Milwaukee. Walker's camp said the governor has a strong record on curbing violence, which includes rolling back Jim Doyle's early release program for prisoners. Vos cited the state's expansion of a high-tech system which lets Milwaukee Police know when bullets are being fired in a ten-square-mile range. Vos also criticized Milwaukee County's Democratic D-A, John Chilsholm. The speaker said Chisholm has given too many plea deals to violent offenders, while devoting too much effort on a John Doe probe that targets conservative groups.
The state Justice Department will start calling witnesses today in a federal court trial that challenges the state law to make abortion doctors have hospital admitting privileges. The trial opened yesterday in Madison without a jury. Federal Judge William Conley heard the plaintiffs' arguments that the law is not necessary, and it would result in delays for abortions which could put women's health at risk. Planned Parenthood and Affiliated Medical Services filed suit over the law, saying an A-M-S clinic in Milwaukee would close. The state said Planned Parenthood could pick up the slack -- but that agency said its Milwaukee facilities are tight, and recruiting more abortion doctors would be difficult because they often face heavy harassment. The state says the law is needed to make sure there's continuous care if abortion patients need hospitalization. But Judge Conley was told it was seldom the case. Wendie Ashlock of A-M-S said only three patients of almost five-thousand were transferred to a hospital from her facility the past two years. Planned Parenthood said only four patients among 84-hundred were sent to Milwaukee hospitals from 2009-through-last year.
One of two Milwaukee men accused of stealing a five-million-dollar Stradivarius violin is scheduled to be convicted this morning. Thirty-six year old Universal Allah struck a plea deal with Milwaukee County prosecutors -- but his attorney won't say what it is before today's court hearing. A sentencing date of July 24th has already been set. Allah is currently charged with felony robbery and marijuana possession. His co-defendant, 41-year-old Salah Salahadyn, has also struck a plea bargain. His conviction hearing is set for June 30th. Salahadyn is currently charged with felony robbery. Both men allegedly robbed a concert-meister of a 300-year-old Lipinski Stradivarius in a parking lot after a performance on January 30th at Wisconsin Lutheran College. The musician was knocked out with a stun gun, but otherwise he was not hurt. The violin was recovered nine days later in good condition.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court will not let a same-sex couple bypass the lower courts, and try to get the justices to strike down the state's ban on gay marriage. Without comment, the justices told Katherine and Linda Halopka-Ivery of Milwaukee to get in line -- and take their case to the circuit and appellate courts first. Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson and Justice Ann Walsh Bradley did vote to have the Supreme Court take immediate jurisdiction. They didn't comment on their positions, either. The Halopka-Iverys were married last December in California. They allege that Wisconsin's constitutional gay marriage ban from 2006 denies them federal rights given to same-sex couples. They also say it denies them rights to due process and equal protection, after the national Defense-of-Marriage Act was struck down last year by the U-S Supreme Court. A separate lawsuit from the A-C-L-U and several same-sex couples also challenges Wisconsin's ban. It's pending before Madison Federal Judge Barbara Crabb.