May 30, 2015

Green Bay officers cleared in fatal shooting

gbpolicelogoBrown County’s top prosecutor is clearing two Green Bay officers, in the shooting death of a suspect, on the city’s north side. The officers went to an apartment in the 1500 block of Plymouth Lane, around 7:30 p.m, on February 24th.

A family member of 30-year-old Joseph Biegert had called police, and said he might be suicidal. Brown County District Attorney David Lasee said Friday that a Department of Justice investigation showed that Biegert was initially cooperative with officers Matt Dunn and Brian Krueger,  but he quickly changed moods, and fought with the officers.

Lasee said the struggle moved into the kitchen, where Biegert grabbed a knife, and stabbed Dunn. He says that’s when both officers opened fire. Lasee said the officers acted appropriately, in self-defense.

Green Bay Police Chief Tom Molitor said the incident was traumatic for both officers. He says Dunn is back on the job, but Krueger is still getting treatment.


Former deputy charged with child sex crimes back in court

Zachary Dorr

Zachary Dorr

The former Lincoln County deputy sheriff facing child sex charges was in court Wednesday, but little was accomplished.

Zachary Dorr, 34, was brought from the Marathon County Jail to a preliminary hearing with Judge Greg Huber, but Dorr does not have an attorney and he does want one.

Deputy District Attorney Theresa Wetzsteon outlined the case, but the court could not proceed until Dorr has an attorney.

There are three felony charges. Dorr is accused of having sex with a 15-year-old girl at his Wausau home, and committing other sexual acts with the same girl in his car.

He did resign from the sheriff’s department last week. If convicted, Dorr faces almost 70 years in prison.

Dorr claims he cannot afford an attorney, so an indigency hearing was scheduled for today at 10:30 a.m.


Chief justice fight strains Supreme Court relations

Justice Patience Roggensack (Photo: Andrew Beckett)

Justice Pat Roggensack (Photo: Andrew Beckett)

The head of the state Supreme Court says she has not spoken with her predecessor since assuming the position just a little over two weeks ago.

In an interview with WisconsinEye, Chief Justice Pat Roggensack said she has doubts a “fruitful conversation” is possible right now between her and Justice Shirley Abrahamson. “I know this is hard for her…and I’m trying really as best as I can not to make it any more difficult than it has to be,” she said. “When the lawsuit is over and things calm down, we’ll have time to talk with one another.”

Abrahamson has filed a federal lawsuit challenging a state constitutional amendment that changed the process for selecting the chief justice. The amendment, adopted by voters in early April, requires members of the high court to vote on the justice, rather than having the most senior member of the court fill that role. Conservative members of the court nominated and then elected Roggensack to serve as chief justice shortly after the election results were certified, despite objections from Justices Abrahamson, Patrick Crooks, and Ann Walsh Bradley.

Roggensack also denied that the contentious leadership change has caused chaos in the court system, which some opponents of the vote have claimed in court filings.

A federal judge last week refused to temporarily reverse the vote that removed Abrahamson as chief justice. Her lawsuit is ongoing.

Nitschke gets new charges for cooking new batch of meth

Richard Nitschke

Richard Nitschke

A Rhinelander man with a famous last name has more charges added to his court file after he allegedly violated the terms of his bond. Richard Nitschke, 49, had a bond hearing Monday for making and distributing methamphetamine during April. While out on bond earlier this month, Nitschke and his girlfriend Andrea Healey allegedly were caught cooking up a new batch of the illegal drug.

District Attorney Michael Schiek said officers responding to a warrant allege he engaged in a new production after another session where he was arrested.  “So it’s a new and distinct incident, separate from what happened between April 1 and April 30 that’s alleged in the other complaint. It’s new activity judge and is certainly grounds for new bail jumpings and new charges.”

On Monday, Judge Patrick O’Melia set a $10,000 cash bond on Nitschke for the April offenses. Since authorties allege Nitschke and Healey manufactured another batch after an earlier warrant was served, he was charged with two more counts and given another $5,000 cash bond by Judge O’Melia.

Nitschke is the son of Green Bay Packers legend Ray Nitschke.

by Ken Krall, WXPR

Woman injured in Menasha bridge shooting thankful for support

A memorial on the Trestle Trail Bridge. (Photo: Mike Kemmeter)

A memorial on the Trestle Trail Bridge. (Photo: Mike Kemmeter)

A Neenah woman says she’s grateful for the outpouring of support from the community, in the wake of a mass shooting on Menasha’s Trestle Trail bridge last month that killed three people, including her husband and one of her children.

In her first statement since the May 3rd random shooting, 32-year-old Erin Stoffel said she misses her husband and daughter, and her pain is deep. Thirty-three-year-old Jon Stoffel, and 11-year-old Olivia were killed by a gunman on the popular trail. The shooter took his own life.

Erin was shot three times. She continues to recover at Theda Clark Medical Center and said her doctors tell her she’s making progress, but there’s still a long road ahead for her.

Stoffel got her seven-year-old son and five-year-old daughter off of the bridge after she was wounded. She said she cherishes her visits with them, at the hospital, and with the help of God, she will be strong for them.

Stoffel described her husband as incredible, selfless, and funny. She said Olivia was the sweetest, dear daughter, with a heart of gold.