- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 16, 2015
Appeals court refuses to delay trial in Slender Man stabbing

WAUKESHA, Wis. (AP) - A Wisconsin appeals court has declined to delay the trial of two 13-year-old suburban Milwaukee girls accused of stabbing their classmate in sacrifice to the fictional horror character Slender Man.

The teens are charged with attempted first-degree intentional homicide. They face trial in adult court Oct. 15.

Their lawyers asked the Court of Appeals to put the prosecution on hold and send the case back to juvenile court.

The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel (https://bit.ly/1LwJA6Qhttps://bit.ly/1LwJA6Q ) reports that the appellate court refused the first part of that request Tuesday. The appeals court still could send the case back to juvenile court, but there has been no indication of whether that would happen.

The Associated Press has not identified the girls because the case could return to juvenile court, where proceedings are closed.


Information from: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, https://www.jsonline.comhttps://www.jsonline.com


Wisconsin woman accused of killing daughter who disappeared

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - A Wisconsin woman is charged with killing her teenage adopted daughter whose burned body was found in a garage in Gary, Indiana, eight years ago but was not identified until this summer when police say another daughter came forward and said she had helped hide the body.

Taylin Hill, 50, of Madison, was charged Monday with first-degree reckless homicide, the Wisconsin State Journal (https://bit.ly/1QfmOUG) reported. Hill, a substitute special education assistant in the Madison School District, also faces six felony counts of child abuse.

Erika Hill was 15 when she disappeared in 2007 from the home in Fitchburg where she lived with her cousins and adoptive mother. That same year, the unidentified body of a young woman was found in a garage in Gary. For years, the girl was known as the “Lake County Jane Doe.”

Last month, Erika’s cousin contacted a Gary police detective and said she knew the Jane Doe’s identity, because she had helped put the body in the garage.

“It was a surprise, when a crime was committed that we didn’t know about,” Fitchburg police Lt. Todd Stetzer said. “It’s shocking that it went on so long before it came out.”

According to the criminal complaint, Hill’s daughter said Hill had threatened her children to keep them from telling anyone what had happened to Erika.

Two brothers driving through an alley in Gary on Feb. 26, 2007, noticed what appeared to be two burned legs inside a garage, the complaint said. They found a body and called police.


Johnson, Feingold seek to redefine themselves in rematch

RICHLAND CENTER, Wis. (AP) - Democrat Russ Feingold isn’t the incumbent in Wisconsin’s Senate race, and he wants voters to know it.

Even though he served 18 years in the Senate before losing to Republican Ron Johnson in 2010, Feingold is shaping his comeback and rematch bid against Johnson as if it’s his first run for office.

He wants to be called Russ. He’s not emphasizing achievements that made him a hero to liberals, like casting the lone vote against the Patriot Act. Instead, the 62-year-old Feingold spent the 101 days since he formally announced his campaign quietly visiting all 72 Wisconsin counties to meet with voters in small settings so he could reintroduce himself.

“An election should be about what’s happening today and the future, instead of living in the past,” Feingold told reporters after meeting with a group of University of Wisconsin students who weren’t old enough to vote the last time he was on the ballot.

The contest is critical to Democratic hopes of recapturing majority control, and they would seem to have the edge considering the election comes in a presidential year in a state that hasn’t backed a Republican’s White House bid since Ronald Reagan.

Johnson and other Republicans have gone on the offensive with more than a year to go before the election, calling Feingold a hypocrite for breaking a 1992 pledge to take the majority of campaign donations from Wisconsin donors.

Feingold, who co-authored the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law designed to limit the influence of special interest money, says that doesn’t make sense in the wake of the Citizens United ruling that altered the campaign finance landscape by legalizing large, undisclosed contributions.


Republicans introduce search warrant, SWAT bills

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Republican lawmakers circulated a pair of bills Tuesday that would require Wisconsin police departments to develop written policies on no-knock search warrants and track SWAT team deployments.

Rep. Dean Knudson of Hudson and Sen. Duey Stroebel of Cedarburg released a statement saying they were looking for co-sponsors for the legislation, which they said would shed light on police tactics and protect residents.

The state’s largest police union was skeptical. Jim Palmer, executive director of the Wisconsin Professional Police Association, noted that the legislation requires police departments to wade through thorny legal issues on no-knock raids that courts have left vague for more than 20 years.

“There really isn’t a bright-line rule,” Palmer said Tuesday. “It would be a tall order for any agency to come up with a uniform policy that makes sense.”

The first bill would require every law enforcement agency in Wisconsin to develop a written policy on when to request and execute a no-knock warrant. The policies would have to be submitted to the state Department of Justice.

The state Supreme Court ruled in 1977 that police didn’t have to knock when executing a search warrant, as long as the decision was reasonable. Knudson said in the news release that creating policies would establish ground rules.

In a telephone interview Tuesday, Knudson said he wants the policies to explain the rationale for asking for a no-knock warrant from a judge and what factors go into deciding whether to skip knocking once on scene.

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