News 6/2/2010

Walters Enters Plea In Assisted Suicide

6/2/10 – A motion hearing turned into a plea hearing yesterday for a state prisoner who helped a cellmate commit suicide. Joshua Walters chose to plead “no contest” to a felony charge of Assisting Suicide, the first ever in the state. In exchange the 21-year-old had a “repeater” enhancer dismissed, which shaves four years off the maximum seven year prison sentence. Dodge County District Attorney Bill Bedker is recommending two-and-a-half years. Walters was serving a two-year prison sentence for a Jefferson County burglary when he is said to have encouraged 20-year-old Adam Peterson to hang himself with a bed-sheet at the Dodge Correctional Institution in Waupun year. Peterson was serving a life prison term for the January 2008 stabbing death of 31-year-old Joel Marino in Madison. According to the criminal complaint, Walters admitted to an inmate that he had the suicide “all planned out” with Peterson. Walters reportedly told the inmate he tied the noose, pulled Peterson’s legs to the ground, and moved the chair when he started making too much noise. A sentencing hearing is scheduled for next week.

Alexander Arraigned

6/2/10 – A Beaver Dam man accused of possessing child pornography entered a “not guilty” plea yesterday in Dodge County court. Brandon J. Alexander could spend up to 25 years in prison for allegedly downloading videos featuring pre-pubescent girls from a file sharing website. Special Agents with the state Justice Department say they were able to use specialized software to identify the digital fingerprint of the illegal video and trace it back to all the users who download the video. Alexander originally told investigators that he accidentally downloaded the videos because he could not tell based on the title alone that the files contained child porn. According to criminal complaint, he later conceded that he knew that terms like “12 y-o” means “12-year-old.” The sentence carries a prison sentence of up to 25 years and a surcharge of up to $500 for each photograph recovered. Alexander has court activity on the calendar next month.

New BDPD Taking Shape

6/2/10 – The new Beaver Dam police station will be a one-story, brick and stone structure that also houses the municipal court. Mayor Tom Kennedy says a committee of city officials and police department representatives have met with MSA Professional Services every Tuesday for the last month laying the groundwork for the $5.1 million structure. A Milwaukee School of Engineering architecture class this past semester completed three renderings of possible police stations, all of which contained a second floor. Deputy Chief Dan Schubert says the consensus in the department all along has been for a single floor. Kennedy says by limiting the facility to one floor there are significant savings in costs for things like elevators. However, as it stands now this project is about $300,000 over estimates but the mayor, who also sits on the committee, says it shouldn’t be too hard to pare that down. The new police station will be built on the former YMCA property on Park Avenue, which will be demolished this summer. Construction is expected to by years end with occupancy targeted for the fall of next year.

Foreclosure Increases Continue

6/2/10 – The economy might be getting better, but home foreclosure suits are still on the rise in Wisconsin. The Madison firm of ForeclosureAlarm-Dot-Com said there 23-hundred-11 new foreclosure cases filed in Wisconsin courts in May. That’s up five-percent from the previous May. And company founder Philip Crawford says the case filings have been relatively stable for about the last nine months. In the Milwaukee area, foreclosure cases jumped almost five-and-a-half percent from last year in seven southeast Wisconsin counties. But the total number of 997 was down about eight-percent from the month before.

Boater Sought In Jet Ski Collision

6/2/10 – Authorities are looking for a boat that hit a 13-year-old boy on a jet ski Monday afternoon. It happened around 12:40pm on Beaver Dam Lake. Police say the boat, which the boy described as blue in color, did not stop. The boy was not seriously injured but authorities are asking for help

in locating the boaters. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Sheriff’s Department or the anonymous We-Tip Hotline at


Garbage Fee Increase

6/2/10 – State Representative Spencer Black says Wisconsin was turning in to a dumping ground for garbage from other states. Now, it’s changed. The Madison Democrat pushed through a fee of 13 dollars a ton in the just-completed legislative session — an increase of seven dollars, 10 cents in the last year. Black says, according to data from Department of Natural Resources records, out-of-state solid waste dumped in landfills here is down 36 percent in one year.

Crack Sentences In Madison

6/2/10 – Eleven people have been sentenced in a crack cocaine ring in Madison. The latest to go behind bars is 23-year-old Terrance McCauley. Federal Judge Barbara Crabb gave him a five-year term with no chance for parole, after he pleaded guilty in February and selling-and-possessing crack. Authorities said McCauley took part in an assault in September of 2008 in Madison, in which the victim was hit by a baseball bat. While questioning McCauley, officers said they found 17 grams of crack in his possession. Other defendants in the case got anywhere from five months to 15 years in prison. Trailer Industry Adds Jobs In Dane Co 6/2/10 – Stoughton Trailers in Dane County plans to add over 300 employees by the end of this year. The firm credits a recent turn-around in business. About 500 laid-off employees were given notices last month about possible job recalls. The company says the jobs will be filled by both recalled employees and new hires. Stoughton Trailers has been locally owned for over a half-century. It’s North America’s fifth largest maker of trailers.