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Category: Homicide

Drunk Driving Homicide

Drunk driving homicide penalties change A new law was enacted in Wisconsin that changes the sentencing structure for drunk driving homicides.  Signed into law by Governor Tony Evers on November 20, 2019, the bill created a presumptive minimum penalty for all drunk driving homicides.  This post will explain the new law, how it changes the…

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Murder, Manslaughter, and Homicide

What is the current law? To illustrate, homicide, murder, and manslaughter laws in Wisconsin are as follows: First-degree intentional homicide – Wis. Stat. sec. 940.01 First-degree reckless homicide – Wis. Stat. sec. 940.02 Felony murder – Wis. Stat. sec. 940.03 Abortion – Wis. Stat. sec. 940.04 Second-degree intentional homicide – Wis. Stat. sec. 940.05 Second-degree…

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A Trial Without the Defendant?

How can a criminal trial proceed without the defendant present? A recent high profile case in Milwaukee where the defendant’s trial continued without him makes you wonder how there can be a trial without a defendant.  While uncommon, this is not unheard of. Section 971.04 of the Wisconsin Statutes require the defendant to be present…

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Jail Inquest in Milwaukee

Inquest into the death of Terrill Thomas: An inquest into the death of Terrill Thomas began last week and should conclude early this week in Milwaukee County.  What is an inquest and what is its purpose in this specific case?  This post examines the law regarding an inquest and why it was ordered.  Criminal defense…

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2nd Degree Intentional Homicide Charge for Kenosha Student

15 year old Kenosha student charged with homicide A 15 year old Kenosha high school student faces  2nd degree intentional homicide charges.  Prosecutors allege Timothy Carson and a fellow classmate at Bradford High School were fighting over a girl and that they arranged a fight in a park.  While the fight didn’t occur as planned, an altercation…

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Len Bias Law Prosecutions in Wisconsin

Wisconsin is seeing a significant increase in Len Bias homicide prosecutions in an effort to curb the delivery of opiate drugs and reduce overdose deaths.  The name Len Bias prosecutions became common parlance after the famous college basketball prospect overdosed on cocaine and died two days after he was drafted 2nd overall by the Boston Celtics…

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Brendan Dassey Wins Federal Appeal

In a lengthy decision, Eastern District of Wisconsin Federal Magistrate Judge William Duffin has overturned Brendan Dassey’s 2007 murder conviction of Teresa Halbach.  Dassey gained national attention through the Netflix “Making a Murderer” series.  The series chronicled Dassey’s uncle, Steven Avery, and his ultimate conviction in the murder of Halbach.  Dassey was also convicted of…

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“Making a Murderer” – The Search for Truth

In a little under one month since its release, the Netflix original documentary “Making a Murderer” has taken America by storm.  The 10-part series was released on December 18, 2015, just in time for the holidays.  The filmmakers take viewers on a nearly 30 year journey, beginning with Steven Avery’s 1985 conviction for sexual assault. …

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Grand jury’s decision in Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson – How Wisconsin grand juries work

Grand jury proceedings are secret: Although grand jury proceedings are secret, they’re usually more relaxed than something like the preliminary hearing.  The secret nature of the grand jury proceeding encourages witnesses to provide truthful information without fear of retaliation.  In the event of a witness refusing to testify, frequently the government will provide immunity to…

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