July 31, 2014

Armed dispute ends peacefully in Fond du Lac


File photo: WRN

Police in Fond du Lac say a SWAT team was called to a home this morning, after a woman fled the house and told officers that her husband held a gun to her head.

Fond du Lac Assistant Police Chief Steve Klein says a 28-year-old woman met with police at a Walgreen’s Store, saying she had been involved in an argument with her husband that turned dangerous. Klein says the woman told officers the man had held a handgun to her head, refusing to release her. She was eventually able to escape the home, but told officers that two young children were still inside with the man.

Klein says the SWAT team was called in because children were inside the house. He says police were able to eventually negotiate his surrender and there were no injuries. The suspect is now facing multiple felony charges.


Supreme Court decisions expected on Voter ID, Act 10, domestic partnership registry

The Wisconsin Supreme Court (Photo: Andrew Beckett)

The Wisconsin Supreme Court (Photo: Andrew Beckett)

The State Supreme Court is expected to rule Thursday on three major issues. Opinions are scheduled for release dealing with challenges to portions of Act 10, Governor Scott Walker’s controversial law that stripped most public employee unions of their ability to collectively bargain, a law requiring voters to show a state-issued photo ID card at the polls, and the Wisconsin’s domestic partnership registry.

The Act 10 case is based on a Dane County judge’s 2012 decision that it violates the constitutional rights of teachers in Madison and public workers union in Milwaukee to free assembly and equal protection under the law. A federal court has already upheld the law in its entirety.

The Supreme Court previously heard a challenge to Act 10 that was based on arguments that passage of the law violated the state’s open meetings laws, after lawmakers called a rushed committee hearing to advance the legislation during massive protests at the Capitol in the spring of 2011. Justices eventually ruled that the law was passed legally.

The impact of a decision on the voter ID requirement will likely be limited by the fact that a federal challenge remains active that has also blocked its enforcement. The high court heard two challenges to the law in February; one filed by the League of Women Voters and the other by the Milwaukee branch of the NAACP. The League claims the law is unconstitutional because it creates a new class of voter, those who lack a photo ID, while the NAACP argues it disenfranchises voters who may have difficulty obtaining a photo ID that qualifies under the law. The challenges resulted in an injunction being issued in early 2012, shortly after the voter ID requirement was in effect for just a single election.

The domestic partnership registry was created under the 2009 state budget, but was challenged by conservative groups who argue it violates the state’s 2006 constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. A federal judge recently struck down the ban, although the ruling is being appealed.

Plea deal possible in cock fighting case



A plea deal may be in the works for a Weston man charged with running an illegal cock fighting operation. Bee Her, 35, is charged with seven felonies including animal fighting, mistreatment of animals, and multiple counts of running a gambling operation.

Police arrested him back in March after an anonymous tip lead to a raid at Her’s home, where they found wounded roosters used for fighting, $6,000 in cash, several guns, and evidence of illegal gambling activities including poker and gambling machines. A criminal complaint says he’s also got ties to a similar operation in Minnesota where charges are also pending.

A plea hearing is now set for August 15th in the case. Her is currently free on a $2,500 cash bond. Her faces a maximum of three and a half years in prison on each of the felony counts.


Wausau man sentenced for sexual assault, racketeering, and fraud

Jay Fischer appears in court. (Photo: WSAU)

Jay Fischer appears in court. (Photo: WSAU)

A former Wausau businessman has been sent to prison after being convicted of numerous felonies, including sexual assault of two children, racketeering, and fraud. 54-year-old Jay Fischer was already facing the racketeering and fraud charges for illegal mortgage lending practices when he was then accused of fondling his stepdaughter.

In court Wednesday, prosecutors were seeking the maximum possible sentence for all charges, while the defense argued Fischer should be put on probation under a withheld sentence. Judge Greg Huber looked at the severity of the crimes and did not buy the defense’s argument for probation. “Years later, after you already admitted to Old Republic that you had basically stolen this money, you went ahead and created more victims, so I think that this gravity of the offense requires that there be prison, here.”

Fischer was sentenced to a combination of prison time and extended supervision, with many of the sentences to be served consecutively. Overall, Fischer will be incarcerated for a total of 11 years followed by another 18 years of extended supervision. Fischer gets credit for 552 days already served in the Marathon County Jail.

Judge Huber said he doesn’t often see cases with long-term actions and the effects on victims like this one.  “The crimes you committed were serious crimes. The sexual assaults against your stepdaughter and your daughter, the taking of $1.2 million through various manners of business puts it in a, (pause) It’s a figure that we don’t normally see in court.”

About a dozen observers were in the courtroom as Fischer was sentenced, including his now ex-wife, who was emotional while reminded of the crimes against the children, and had to be assisted from the gallery for a short time.

Judge Huber commented about how Fischer’s actions harmed the child victims.  “The fact that she was made to appear to be the liar, making this up, the fact that she had to live through her own private hell knowing no one who loved her believed her because of your actions and your influence, and that persisted for quite a while until recently when people finally believed her.”

Fischer used to own Valley Title, and handled thousands of mortgage financing and refinancing transactions. He was also the owner of Krazy J’s Campground near Marion in Waupaca County.


Fond du Lac Police search for naked home invader

File photo

File photo

Police in Fond du Lac are urging residents to lock their doors and windows at night, following at least two incidents in recent weeks involving a naked man trying to enter homes.

Assistant Police Chief Steve Klein says the latest incident occurred Wednesday morning, when a homeowner confronted a naked man in the hallway of his home. Klein says the homeowner chased the man out the front door of the home, because losing him in the street between some parked cars.

Police believe it’s linked to a similar incident that happened last month, in which a woman found a naked man hiding behind a car in her driveway after hearing her front door open and close. The man claimed he was taking a walk, then fled the scene when the woman said she was calling police.

The suspect is described as white, with a lean to medium build and short hair, between the ages of 20 and 30-years-old.