- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 2, 2014
30 Wis. soldiers safe after Fort Hood shooting

MILWAUKEE (AP) - Thirty Wisconsin soldiers are safe after a shooting at Fort Hood in Texas.

Wisconsin National Guard spokesman Maj. Paul Rickert says the 30 members of the 32nd Infantry Brigade Combat based in Camp Douglas were there to train for deployment.

He says he didn’t immediately know where they were at the timing of the shooting Wednesday, but says they are all safe and accounted for. He says they live throughout Wisconsin.

The Wisconsin National Guard also posted a message about the soldiers on its Facebook page Wednesday night.

WLUK-TV reports the soldiers are eventually being deployed to Afghanistan, where they are expected to provide airlift missions that will include transporting other soldiers throughout the country.

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Cudahy worker killed 2 in self-defense: prosecutor

MILWAUKEE (AP) - A maintenance worker who fatally shot two teens as police say he was being beaten with a baseball bat in Milwaukee will not be charged, a prosecutor said Monday.

Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm announced Wednesday his office reviewed the police investigation, interviewed witnesses and viewed cellphone video before concluding that Jeremy Rossetto, of Cudahy, fired the shots in self-defense, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (http://bit.ly/1fuXLNL).

Police said 17-year-old Anmarie Miller and 19-year-old James Bell Jr., both of Milwaukee, were killed in an apartment building stairwell March 12.

Prosecutors are still reviewing the case against a 20-year-old who is accused of punching Rossetto and have not made a charging decision.

Police said the three younger people got into an argument with the 39-year-old Rossetto. Police say one of the three was holding him while another beat him with a souvenir baseball bat before Rossetto drew a gun and fired.

The district attorney’s office said Rossetto believed that his actions were “necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself.”

Rossetto’s attorney, David Geraghty, had told the Journal Sentinel that his client considers it an “occupational necessity” to carry a gun and has a permit to do so. He also said that Rossetto considered the incident a tragedy and had never used his gun before in a confrontation.

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Jury to weigh death penalty in carjack killing

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - A man who could face the death penalty for killing a South Dakota hospice nurse as part of a plan to assassinate President Barack Obama has a history of mental illness and his life should be spared, his attorney argued Wednesday.

James McVay, 43, pleaded guilty but mentally ill to murder for the 2011 stabbing of 75-year-old Maybelle Schein. McVay said he killed Schein and stole her car as part of his plot to drive to Washington and kill the president.

Jurors are deciding whether McVay should die by lethal injection or face life in prison without parole.

Richard Dieter, executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center, said the death penalty is traditionally reserved for the worst of the worst, and it’s rare for a state to seek the punishment of death after finding someone guilty but mentally ill.

“I just don’t know of any cases in which you have (such) a verdict, and then the state still seeks the death penalty,” he said.

For a jury to consider giving McVay a death sentence, prosecutors must prove one of two aggravating circumstances. One would be that the offense was outrageously or wantonly vile, horrible, or inhuman in that it involved torture, depravity of mind, or an aggravated battery to the victim.

Prosecutor Aaron McGowan said McVay stabbed Schein nine times, with the final blow cutting her vocal cords and carotid artery, causing her to bleed to death within 16 seconds.

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Democrat Burke scores major union endorsements

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Democratic candidate for governor Mary Burke won the endorsement of three major unions on Wednesday, even though she hasn’t promised to repeal a law championed by her opponent Gov. Scott Walker that essentially ended collective bargaining for most public workers.

The Wisconsin State AFL-CIO, the statewide teachers union Wisconsin Education Association Council and the Madison Teachers Inc. all announced that they were backing Burke. A member of the Madison school board, Burke is also a former Trek Bicycle Corp. executive and state commerce secretary.

Burke has upset some union leaders and Democratic activists because she has not promised to repeal the union measure signed into law in 2011 known as Act 10, if elected. Burke has said she opposes the law and supports collective bargaining, but she also agreed with parts of Act 10 requiring public workers to pay more for their pension and health care benefits.

Passage of the union law was Walker’s signature achievement in his first term and it catapulted him onto the national stage. The fight over the law, which sparked protests as large as 100,000 people and led to Democratic state senators leaving the state to temporarily block its passage, also motivated the drive to recall Walker in 2012.

Burke signed the recall petition and met with union leaders before launching her campaign. Walker survived the recall.

In response to the union endorsements, Wisconsin Republican Party executive director Joe Fadness criticized Burke, saying she was making “backroom promises on Act 10 and leaving voters in the dark.”

Burke didn’t say anything different privately to the unions than she has said publicly about where she stands on Act 10, said her campaign spokesman Joe Zepecki.

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