Murder Suspect Given More Phone, Law Library Time

(Juneau) Dodge County Judge Brian Pfitzinger has granted a Fox Lake murder suspect more phone time in his attempts to find a new attorney. Laverne Ware Jr. raised concerns on Tuesday that his sixth amendment rights were being violated at the county jail and where he was allotted 50 minutes a day to call lawyers. Ware said during a hearing Wednesday that he wished to move back to the housing unit he was in prior that allowed unlimited access to a phone, while not on lockdown. Several jail staff members who were at the hearing said those cells are currently occupied by other inmates and are not available to Ware. Judge Pfitzinger ruled that Ware will be allowed to use the jail phone line for two hours during the business day, Monday through Friday until he finds new counsel. A hearing was scheduled for April 19 to determine if Ware has made reasonable efforts to obtain representation.

Ware also requested a minimum of ten hours a week in the jail’s law library. The defendant said he currently gets roughly three hours a week and his time allowance is sporadic. Jail staff said law library availability is divided up between inmates meaning someone else would have to give up their time. Eventually, the jail offered Ware one hour each day, seven days per week to visit the law library. In addition, he is now being given access to paper documents in his cell during the business day; they will need to be returned at night.

Ware is accused of murdering his girlfriend and first cousin, Sesalie Dixon, in December of 2016. The 27-year-old was found in the cab of Ware’s pick-up truck inside a Fox Lake garage with a gunshot wound to the head.