News Stories Involving the Court System and Violent Crimes in Wisconsin

After a conviction for a violent crime, such as murder, Wisconsin’s justice system works hard to serve the proper sentence to those who are guilty and find peace for those who have been affected. Levine Law has compiled several news stories involving Wisconsin’s court system and its handling of violent crimes.


Man Convicted of Violent Crimes Attacked at Sentencing Hearing

In 2015, a man in Wisconsin was murdered. The man accused of the violent crimes reportedly went into hiding but was later apprehended by police. He then sought a speedy trial, as was his right, and was released on a signature bond after the court did not comply with his request for a speedy trial within 90 days.

The trial eventually began, but after four days of sessions, the man allegedly went on the run again. This did not halt the adjudication process, however. Ultimately, after the man was found and taken back into custody, the court handed down a conviction, and a sentencing hearing was scheduled.

During a sentencing hearing, both the prosecution and defense are able to make statements and present evidence that may impact the type of sentence the court imposes. A defense attorney does all that is possible to help mitigate the circumstances. As in this case, family members of a victim are often permitted to speak to the court as well.

In a shocking turn of events in this situation, when the sister of the victim began to address the court, she is said to have leaped out of her chair and attacked the defendant. The woman’s unexpected actions interrupted the proceedings, which will now be continued at a future date. This Wisconsin violent crime case shows that one can never assume nor predict what is going to happen in a courtroom. However, an experienced defense attorney can help a defendant secure as positive an outcome as possible.

Source:, “Convicted murderer attacked by victim’s sister during sentencing hearing in Wisconsin“, Shaun Gallagher, Jan. 5, 2018

Several Violent Crimes Cases Soon to Be Heard in Wisconsin Courts

It appears that the Wisconsin criminal justice system will have a busy court schedule in 2018. At least five cases involving allegations of violent crimes are slated to be tried in this state in the coming year. One of those involves a man who is currently incarcerated for another matter.

The 64-year-old now sits behind bars following sentencing for drug crimes. Previously, however, he was charged with first-degree murder for the killing of a young woman who went missing on her way to a work seminar in 1990. More than two decades later, he was charged with her death, although a judge declared a mistrial in the case in 2016.

Prosecutors have scheduled a retrial, come February. Another man, age 39, has also been charged with murder in an unrelated case. However, the defendant denies the murder. The situation involves a young woman who was found dead in a farm field; as the murder charge heads to trial, defense attorneys say they plan to pursue a theory that the victim’s boyfriend at the time (who was originally arrested) is the one responsible for her death.

These are just two of the many violent crimes trials that will be taking place in Wisconsin in the new year. As in all situations involving criminal charges, every defendant will have the opportunity to present as strong a defense as possible in an effort to avoid conviction. The chances of doing so are typically increased for those who hire criminal defense attorneys to protect their interests in court.

Source:, “5 compelling Wisconsin homicide trials to keep an eye on in 2018“, Andy Thompson, Dec. 26, 2017

Wisconsin Police Make Several Arrests for Alleged Drug Crimes

Wisconsin police sometimes use covert tactics in their investigations. When drug crimes are suspected, undercover work often includes attempts to purchase or actual purchases of substances investigators believe to be illegal drugs. Everything in this type of police action is officially controlled, including the money used to make a supposed drug buy.

Back in August, an officer began carrying out an undercover investigation that has since led to the arrests of several people, including a 30-year-old woman whom authorities say was using her home as a drug trafficking center. During the investigation, which ran from Aug. 2017 to early Jan. 2018, the officer reportedly met with various people at multiple locations for the purpose of buying different types of drugs, including cocaine and marijuana. One of the locations the officer visited was the woman’s residence.

On a particular day, the officer said there was a child present while alleged illegal drug activities were unfolding. The officer was told by the man who had accompanied him to the home that the minor was his girlfriend’s child. The investigation came to a halt following a search of the home when that man, the woman, and several others were arrested.

Authorities say the woman’s home was contained various substances that tested positive for drugs as well as large amounts of cash and other paraphernalia typically used in illegal drug distribution operations. They also claim she admitted to participating in drug crimes throughout Wisconsin and surrounding states. Most experienced defense attorneys would advise their clients to never admit anything without first consulting with legal representation as doing so may negatively impact the ultimate outcome of a particular situation.

Source:, “POLICE: Drug trafficking house found in Mauston“, Jake Ekdahl, Jan. 31, 2018

Jury Trial Ends in Wisconsin Man’s Conviction for Violent Crimes

Another trial has come to a close in Wisconsin. This one involved a man who had been accused of violent crimes, including felony murder. The situation stemmed from an incident that occurred at a motorcycle shop in 2015.

The defendant was said to have taken hostages, then instigated a standoff with police. Prosecutors told jurors that at some point during the supposed hostage situation, the man in question shot a firearm at police. No details were provided regarding how the incident first became a hostage situation.

The incident reportedly ended in another person’s death. The defendant was charged with many offenses. The jury deliberated for at least two hours on a recent Friday. Unfortunately for the defendant, the jurors found him guilty on 16 charges.

The felony murder charge was filed when prosecutors blamed the defendant for the events that resulted in the other man’s death. Jurors apparently agreed with that assessment. A defense attorney’s top priority is to help a client avoid conviction, but in situations where this is not possible, there is still much an experienced attorney can do to help a defendant mitigate the circumstances.

For instance, a Wisconsin attorney can try to convince the court to hand down a lighter sentence in connection with violent crimes. An attorney may also file an appeal if evidence exists that a jury was wrongfully influenced in its decision or some other factual or legal error occurred in the adjudication process. An attorney can also remain available in case any legal problems arise while a defendant fulfills a sentence.

Source:, “Wisconsin man convicted of felony murder“, March 10, 2018

Is a Plea Bargain Right for My Violent Crimes Charge?

An arrest can spark a series of events that may lead defendants to feel as if their future is no longer in their control. Although there may be certain things out of a person’s hands, most Wisconsin defendants have more options at their disposal than they realize. Even if facing a violent crimes charge, individuals may have the option to enter into a plea bargain, which can sometimes minimize the impact of the situation.

Despite what popular crime TV shows might depict, most criminal cases do not proceed to trial. Instead, defendants often enter into a plea bargain. This type of deal usually involves the defendant agreeing to plead guilty to a charge that is less serious than the one they are currently facing, and as a result they receive a lesser sentence. In many cases the original, more serious charges are dismissed.

Plea bargains typically generate from the prosecution and can help expedite a defendant’s case, wrapping things up long before a trial would even start. Unfortunately, there are also downsides to these deals. A defendant without the proper resources to fully defend him or herself might accept a plea deal even if the accused believes he or she is not guilty. There is also the possibility that a defendant might fare better in front of a jury than in the plea deal.

Violent crimes charges are serious in Wisconsin, and the stakes are higher. A criminal conviction can alter a person’s future, affecting employment and education opportunities. As such, most defendants focus on minimizing this impact. For some, this means utilizing a plea bargain in exchange for lesser charges, while others choose to pursue the matter to completion throughout trial court proceedings.

Source: FindLaw, “Plea Bargains Overview“, Accessed on May 27, 2018


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