The Wisconsin Supreme Court said no today to letting a Milwaukee man change his guilty pleas in the shootings of two police officers in 2009. Julius Burton said his lawyer should not have allowed him to withdraw an insanity plea and the circuit court should have explained his options before he entered the plea to two counts of attempted first degree homicide.
In a unanimous decision Wednesday morning, the justices sided with an appellate court ruling, which disagreed that Burton’s lawyer was ineffective. It also said the trial court had no obligation to spell out Burton’s plea options.
The 22-year-old Burton is serving 80 years in prison for wounding Milwaukee police officers Bryan Norberg and Graham Kunisch. The two officers were monitoring students who were leaving a high school when they saw Burton riding his bicycle illegally on a sidewalk. When they confronted Burton about it, the bicyclist shot the officers in the face at close range. Burton fled to a nearby house, where officers later found him and arrested him. The two wounded officers returned to work about a year later.