Crime laboratory backlog results in evidence delay

Staffing problems at the Wisconsin State Crime Laboratory is delaying the testing of firearm evidence in the homicide case of Keller McQuay, 15. McQuay allegedly shot and killed Vista Jackson, 14, last fall, Assistant Racine County District Attorney Jennifer Tanck-Adams said during a status conference in a Racine County courtroom last Wednesday, November 2.

Tanck-Adams said a September 6 press conference about the status of the case was delayed because authorities still did not have the necessary test results. The firearm investigator said the gun used in the alleged homicide – a .22-caliber sawed-off rifle – and two projectiles were still in a vault at the laboratory. “There is one person that is analyzing firearms evidence at this time. [The supervisor] communicated that they have hired three more people, but they are not up to training standards yet,” Tanck-Adams said.

When it comes to your legal defense, you need the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney. Turn to our skilled criminal lawyers at Kohler Hart Powell, SC, who provide legal services in Milwaukee and other areas in Wisconsin, by calling our offices today at (414) 271-9595.


Milwaukee man found guilty of raping children at motel

Milwaukee, Wisconsin resident Calvin Freeman, 55, was convicted of two counts of first-degree rape on Thursday, October 27 by a jury in New Orleans. His charges, which carry with them a mandatory life sentence in the state of Louisiana, are in relation to raping two preteen relatives at a motel called Capri on May 24, 2013.

Assistant District Attorney Tiffany Tucker said the investigators from the New Orleans Police Department discovered that Freeman concluded an 18-day stay at the motel, which is famous for being a prostitution haven, and returned to Milwaukee on May 25, 2013. Freeman, who prosecutors accused of being a pimp called “Grit,” will be sentenced on Nov. 16, 2015 by Criminal District Judge Robin Pittman.

In Freeman’s defense, Joe Rome, Freeman’s legal counsel, said: “When you start with bad assumptions, you end up with bad results. Calvin Freeman was a pimp. But that don’t make you a rapist.”

Our criminal defense lawyers at Kohler Hart Powell, SC provide legal services for our clients in Milwaukee and other areas in Wisconsin and handle criminal defense cases such as drug trafficking and conspiracies, domestic violence offenses, and sex crimes, among others. Call our offices today at (414) 271-9595 to discuss your case.


University of Wisconsin Student Accused of Multiple Sexual Assaults

Alec R. Cook, a 20 year-old student enrolled at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, was recently charged with raping and choking a fellow student for two hours in his apartment. Following the rape charges, six different women have come forward to report instances of sexual assault by Cook that have occurred intermittently over the past year. A warrant to search Cook’s home led to the discovery of a notebook containing details of his grooming and stalking of various women. The notebook is assisting police with current investigations.

Cook, who was majoring in real estate and urban landscaping, was suspending following the allegations and is prohibited from entering campus as part of his initial conditions for bail. He is currently being charged with four felony counts of sexual assault with use of force, three counts of sexual battery, one count of strangulation, and one count of false imprisonment.

Among Cook’s victims is a woman accusing him of inappropriately touching her 15 times during the course of a ballroom dancing class, along with another 20 year-old woman whom he allegedly attacked in his apartment. Two other women have claimed they were also attacked in Cook’s apartment. Cook is currently being held in county jail until his bail hearing and police are continuing to take new allegations at the Dane County district attorney’s office.

If you need assistance facing allegations with a similar matter, contact the Milwaukee sex crime defense attorneys at Kohler Hart Powell, SC by calling (414) 271-9595.


Milwaukee man charged with attempted first-degree intentional homicide

Twenty-three-year-old Milwaukee resident Daivon Miller was charged with attempted first-degree intentional homicide as a repeat offender in the Columbia County Circuit Court. He is being held on a $75,000 cash bond in relation to an alleged shooting following a car chase from Lake Delton to Wisconsin Dells.

According to court documents, Miller and an ex-girlfriend and her boyfriend had an argument at the Wilderness Resort in Lake Delton. Miller allegedly came into the room where the couple was staying and pulled a gun on them. Miller and the boyfriend then went outside to discuss some matters, according to the boyfriend’s testimony, at which point Miller sprinted toward the boyfriend’s car, pulled around in front of the couple, pepper-sprayed them, and took off.

An arrest warrant was issued on October 12, and on October 13 Miller was served the warrant as he appeared in court via video from Columbia County Jail. District Attorney Jane Kohlwey, said: “The defendant has a history of operating a vehicle without owners’ consent and fleeing officers. He has no ties to the Columbia County community. He is from the city of Milwaukee and came up to the Dells to specifically commit the crime that he is charged with in this case.”

For his part, defense attorney Ronald Benavides said: “I’m going to assert, respectfully, that it looks more like reckless-type behavior, as opposed to attempted first-degree intentional homicide.”

If you are charged with a criminal offense in Milwaukee, our attorneys at Kohler Hart Powell, SC will do our best to clear your name. Call our offices today at (414) 271-9595 to discuss your options.


Milwaukee man charged with first-degree intentional homicide

Forty-year-old Milwaukee resident Dan Popp, who was charged with three counts of first-degree intentional homicide in the fatal shootings of his neighbors, was ruled competent for his trial. A psychiatrist said he was faking mental health problems in an updated competency report from the Mendota Mental Health Institute submitted during the first week of October.

Two of the victims, Phia and Mai Vue, are a Hmong couple. A criminal complaint showed that Popp said to the third victim, Jesus Manso-Perez, “Oh, that’s why you don’t speak English. You’re Puerto Rican. You guys got to go,” before pulling the trigger that killed him. Popp was charged in March 2016 for the crimes. He is also facing one count of first-degree attempted homicide for shooting at, but failing to hit, Manso-Perez’s son.

Employ the legal services of our criminal defense attorneys at Kohler Hart Powell, SC by calling our Milwaukee offices at (414) 271-9595 today. Schedule an initial appointment with a qualified member of our legal team to see how we can help your case.


Sharp rise in murder rates show the mistrust between police and communities

Federal Bureau of Investigation data issued on Monday, September 26 showed the homicide rate in 2015 skyrocketed in the United States at a rate unheard of since 1968.

Fifteen cities accounted for 40% of the increase. These cities include Baltimore, Maryland (133 more homicides); Chicago, Illinois (67 more); Seattle, Washington (57 more); Milwaukee, Wisconsin (55 more); and Houston, Texas (61 more). Excluding the fifteen cities driving the change, homicide rates still spiked by at least 6% all over the country. The last time homicide rates were below 5 per 100,000 people was in 1964.

However, when 2016 came around, the situation in some cities improved. For instance, homicides in Milwaukee decreased by 26% in the first half of 2016 compared with the same period in 2015, data released by the Major Cities Chiefs Association showed. Research suggests some of the negative changes in murder rates result from the bad relationships police and communities are currently experiencing.

Our criminal defense attorneys at Kohler Hart Powell, SC are here to ensure you obtain the most favorable result in the litigation of your criminal charge in a Milwaukee court. Hire the legal services of our aggressive criminal lawyers by calling our offices today at (414) 271-9595.


Milwaukee man found guilty of burning down house with estranged wife inside

Twenty-seven-year-old Michael A. Morgan was found guilty on Friday, September 16 of two counts of first-degree reckless homicide, arson, bail jumping, and other charges in relation to setting fire to his own house. His estranged wife currently occupies the residence with her five children, two of them Morgan’s own. The fire started in the 5600 block of N. 36th Street in Milwaukee resulted in the death of two children.

Morgan is not allowed to come near the house due to a pending domestic violence case. He could face up to 80 years in prison for the homicides alone. His sentencing hearing is scheduled for Thursday, October 27. Assistant District Attorney made the argument that Morgan was enraged that a court ordered him out of his own house. He slipped into the house when everyone was asleep and doused the furniture with gasoline. Morgan, on the other hand, said he was heading to the house of his friend, Patrick Wilson, at the time of the incident.

If you are charged with a criminal offense in Milwaukee or another area of Wisconsin, turn for legal help to the criminal defense attorneys of Kohler Hart Powell, SC to increase your chances of avoiding prison or paying a fine. Seek our legal services by calling our offices today at (414) 271-9595.


Sexual assault victim recants complaint

The Milwaukee Police Department in Wisconsin has wrapped up the investigation and interviews regarding the sexual assault of a 12-year-old female in the area of 23rd and National Avenue.

After the alleged victim has recanted her statement, the police released the five male suspects that they held in custody.

The incident happened at around 4 p.m. on Monday, August 29 near South 23rd Street and West National Avenue, which is located a mere few blocks away from Mitchell Park on the city’s south side.

Our attorneys at Kohler Hart Powell, SC, who provide legal services for our clients in Milwaukee, handle criminal defense cases such as drug possession, sexual assault, assault, operating while intoxicated, homicide/murder, and gun crimes, among others. Call our offices today at (414) 271-9595.


Evidence to be DNA tested 11 years after man is convicted of murder

Bits of evidence used to convict a man of a 2005 murder are now being called into question, nearly 11 years after the crime occurred.

Human remains, blood droplets, a spare key, and a car’s blinker light are among the evidence that is resurfacing in the murder of Teresa Halbach on Halloween of 2005. The man who was convicted of the murder, Steven Aery, 54, has agreed to this extensive testing. His attorney says that no guilty person would want this degree of testing done as it can be rather expensive.

Avery is currently serving a life sentence with no possibility of parole as a result of this conviction. His attorney is seeking to use DNA testing to argue that a lot of the evidence against him was planted or otherwise misused to unfairly convict him. A new filing in Manitowoc County Circuit Court claims that Avery is innocent and that additional DNA testing of various pieces of evidence can provide strong enough doubt to exonerate him.

Avery’s attorney is currently seeking a judge’s permission to have numerous pieces of evidence tested this way. She says that that she says would exonerate Avery, who is currently sentenced to life imprisonment with no possibility of parole.

If you are facing charges of homicide or murder, you will need a dedicated attorney on your side. An attorney can help you through every step of the criminal defense process. To speak with a murder lawyer from Kohler Hart Powell, SC, call (414) 271-9595.


Milwaukee strip club owner indicted on charges of money laundering, cocaine dealing

Jon Ferraro, owner of the strip club franchise Silk Exotic located in Milwaukee, Middleton in Dane County, and Juneau in Dodge County, Wisconsin, has been charged in a racketeering case that focuses on the Russian mob, a report from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel showed.  Ferraro recently got a nearly $100 million settlement from Milwaukee because he was formerly prohibited from opening a club there.

Ferraro had been indicted with seven other men in the state of California as part of a case that involved money laundering and cocaine dealing that spanned several states and featured a dozen people.

The case, which was nicknamed the Russian Laundry, started gaining traction in 2015. Ferraro’s role in the case was not given away publicly by federal agents investigating the case, other than what was revealed in a sealed cellphone tracking warrant that was made available to the federal public court in Milwaukee.

If you had been charged with a criminal offense in Milwaukee – whether it be a federal or a state crime – you can count on our attorneys at Kohler Hart Powell, SC to come up with a comprehensive legal defense strategy to be sure to get you acquitted or obtain the least possible punishment for your charge. Call our offices today at (414) 271-9595.


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