- Associated Press - Thursday, July 16, 2015
Milwaukee man gets life sentence for killing witness

MILWAUKEE (AP) - A judge has given a Milwaukee man a life sentence for killing a witness to a shooting.

Thirty-year-old Robert McCorckle was sentenced Thursday to life in prison with no chance of release under supervision until July 2060. He has to serve a three-year sentence for a different felony count consecutively.

McCorkle shot and killed 26-year-old Richard Conn on July 5, 2014, after Conn identified McCorkle’s friend in court. The friend had shot at Conn in May 2014 and was on trial for it that day.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (http://bit.ly/1MdDBsChttp://bit.ly/1MdDBsC ) reports Judge Daniel Konkol said the killing showed “total disregard for human life and the prosecution system.”

Prosecutor Grant Huebner asked for a life sentence without parole. He said McCorkle’s criminal history makes him a danger to the public.

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Information from: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, http://www.jsonline.comhttp://www.jsonline.com

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Court ends probe of GOP hopeful Walker’s recall campaign

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Presidential candidate Scott Walker won a major legal victory Thursday when the Wisconsin Supreme Court ended a secret investigation into whether the Republican’s gubernatorial campaign illegally coordinated with conservative groups during the 2012 recall election.

No one has been charged in the so-called John Doe probe, Wisconsin’s version of a grand jury investigation in which information is tightly controlled. But questions about the investigation have dogged Walker for months.

Barring an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, the ruling makes Walker’s campaign for the White House that much smoother as he courts voters in early primary states.

“Today’s ruling confirmed no laws were broken, a ruling that was previously stated by both a state and federal judge,” Walker spokeswoman AshLee Strong said. “It is time to move past this unwarranted investigation that has cost taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars.”

The case centers on political activity conducted by the Wisconsin Club for Growth and other conservative organizations during the recall, which was spurred by Democrats’ anger over Walker’s law that effectively ended collective bargaining for most public workers.

The justices cited free speech, ruling that state election law is overbroad and vague in defining what amounts to “political purposes.”

In the majority opinion, Justice Michael Gableman, part of the court’s conservative majority, praised conservative groups for challenging the investigation, saying it was fortunate that prosecutors targeted “innocent citizens who had both the will and the means to fight the unlimited resources of an unjust prosecution.”

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The Latest: Conservative group reacts to Walker ruling

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - The latest on the Wisconsin Supreme Court’s decision Thursday in a case involving Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s 2012 recall campaign (all times local):

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1:05 p.m.

A conservative group is cheering the end of an investigation into allegations that it and other groups illegally coordinated with Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s campaign during his 2012 recall election.

The Wisconsin Club for Growth was among several groups accused of violating election law. The state’s Supreme Court on Thursday effectively tossed out the investigation, ruling that the state’s campaign finance law doesn’t prohibit such coordination.

Todd Graves, an attorney for the group, praised the high court’s ruling and accused the government of trying to “threaten and embarrass” groups they don’t like.

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A primer on Wisconsin court ending Walker campaign probe

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - The Wisconsin Supreme Court’s decision to end a so-called John Doe investigation of Gov. Scott Walker’s 2012 recall campaign clears a potential obstacle in his Republican presidential bid and has far-reaching implications for the state’s campaign finance laws.

Here are some questions and answers about the probe and the effects of the high court’s ruling on Thursday:

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WHAT IS A JOHN DOE INVESTIGATION?

A John Doe probe is Wisconsin’s equivalent of a grand jury investigation. The goal is to ascertain whether a crime has been committed. The investigation is overseen by a judge, and witnesses can be compelled to testify in secret. Information that emerges is kept secret.

WHAT WAS THE INVESTIGATION ALL ABOUT?

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