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CRIME AND COURT ROUNDUP: Convicted murderer gets his appeal denied

The appeal filed by convicted murderer Jeremy Wand has been denied by a Wisconsin appeals court. The 19-year-old Wand was sentenced to life in prison last August for starting fires that killed his three nephews, aged seven, five and three. Wand was found guilty of setting fires in a rented home when his brother lived. Armin Wand the Third is serving life in prison without the possibility of parole for paying Jeremy Wand 300-dollars to set the fires. Armin Wand’s wife, Sharon, was badly burned and lost the fetus she was carrying. Her two-year-old daughter survived. Jeremy Wand will be eligible for parole in 35 years. 


It can be a nice gesture when a cousin offers a car ride to you – unless he’s nine-years-old. Last weekend in Washington County, two cousins from West Bend were driving rural roads. It was the second time in less than a month. The two stole the car from the older boy’s stepfather Sunday morning. The children told deputies they had wanted to go to a park. Their ride ended in a ditch six miles away. The nine-year-old driver wasn’t able to control the car and a nearby motorist called 9-1-1. A sheriff’s deputy caught up with the two when they hit the ditch. Neither was injured and the car wasn’t damaged. The cousins had gone for another joy ride June 14th. That car was stolen from a worker at a boat dealership in Barton. No charges will be filed in either incident. 


Two security guards at a dance club south of Madison have been charged with beating a customer so badly he wound up with a broken leg. Fenando Bello-Bautista and Frederick Santos were charged with felony battery Monday. The incident at Pachuco’s Night Club in Oregon happened last April. The victim admitted he had too much to drink. A witness told police he saw Bello-Bautista put the man in a choke hold, throw him to the ground near the club’s bathrooms and start punching him in the face. The witness says that’s when Santos joined in. When that witness told the two security guards to stop beating the man, they allegedly told him he would get in trouble if he involved himself. Both men deny hitting or kicking the man. 


Madison police report a confrontation with a woman inside a pet store resulted in officers having to dodge guinea pigs. Police say the 26-year-old woman walked into the store Saturday afternoon and tried to leave her guinea pigs with the ones already on sale in the store. The manager says he told the woman she could take them to the Humane Society, but she laughed at that and told him the store belonged to the animals, not him. The officers say they tried to get the woman to go outside to talk with them, but she refused and threw the box of guinea pigs at officers. The woman was kicking and shouting. The woman was arrested. The manager said he would take care of the animals and give them to a good home if their owner really didn’t want them any more. 


A murder defendant maintained her innocence to the end, then asked the judge for leniency. Though 27-year-old Jeannette Janusiak was given a life sentence for causing the death of an infant in her care, she will be eligible for parole after 40 years. Prosecutors had told the court four-year-old Peyton Shearer died of three distinct blows the head. He was killed three years ago. 


A DeForest man has been arrested for allegedly sending a racist hate letter to a black family in Stoughton. Twenty-one-year-old Matthew Cimaroli told police he sent the letter to 18-year-old Javon Hale because the teenager stole money in a drug sale. Hale’s parents called police when they saw the letter their son had received. It apparently depicted him as the victim of a lynching. Cimaroli had been identified as a suspect shortly after the initial report, but police say they waited for forensic evidence to be processed before taking him into custody. 


La Crosse police say there is no sign of foul play in the drowning death of a 23-year-old man whose body was pulled out of the Black River. Police say they are still investigating and would like help from the public in their search for more information. Shalim Augustine of La Crosse was found Friday night. He’d gone missing the previous Tuesday. Augustine had reportedly gone boating with some co-workers that night and, when the boat was docked, he said he was walking home. He failed to show up for work the next day.


A former priest accused of embezzlement has missed a court appearance for a second time. Lawyers for 62-year-old James Dokos Junior say he was admitted to a hospital Monday morning. His attorney said Dokos’ car broke down when he missing a court appearance last week. Dokos is accused of taking more than 100-thousand dollars from Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church in Wauwatosa. He had been priest there for many years. The church’s parish council discovered the theft last year. Prosecutors say he diverted money from a trust a couple had left to go toward construction of a cultural center at the church. He’s accused of spending the money on jewelry for his wife, expensive meals, personal bills and high-end shopping sprees. 


Hundreds of people gathered at the playground in Milwaukee where Sierra Guyton was shot for a vigil Monday night. The 10-year-old Guyton was struck by a stray bullet on May 21st on the playground of the Clarke Street Elementary School. She died Sunday from the injuries received in that shooting. Police charged two men in the shooting, 18-year-old Slyvester Lewis is charged with first-degree reckless injury.  Twenty-eight-year-old Jamey Jackson is charged with being a felon in possession of a gun. Guyton's mother collapsed during the vigil and had to be help by those around her.


Usually, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals would use a three-judge panel to hear arguments, but Wisconsin Attorney General J-B Van Hololen is asking that all 10 active judges hear the challenge to this state’s gay marriage ban. The state of Indiana has already made a similar request in a case focused on its ban on same-sex marriage. Van Hollen says having all 10 judges hear his case reflects how important it is, for the 7th Circuit and for the nation. Arguments are to be heard by the court in Chicago August 13th on both the Indiana and Wisconsin cases.