February 06, 2014
| (click for larger version)|
ELKHORN — An 18-year-old Woodstock, Ill., man, who admitted to police that he used force during a sexual assault, is arguing that his statement should be tossed from evidence because he didn’t understand his Miranda rights.
Armando Mezo-Reyes has been charged with felony second-degree sexual assault and misdemeanor battery. He is in custody in the Walworth County jail in lieu of a $10,000 cash bond.
Police read Mezo-Reyes his Miranda rights in English, and Mezo-Reyes is arguing that the didn’t understand his rights because he primarily speaks Spanish. However, throughout his arrest, and during his interview with police, Mezo-Reyes spoke to officers in English.
February 06, 2014
| (click for larger version)|
ELKHORN — A Montana man, who was convicted of stealing more than $30,000 from his elderly mother, was sentenced to 18 months in prison on Feb. 6 by Judge David Reddy.
On Dec. 4, Michael Bryzek, 44, was found guilty of theft from a business setting in an amount that is more than $10,000. Reddy also sentenced Bryzek to 18 months of extended supervision and ordered him to repay all of the stolen money.
Bryzek’s attorney, Leslie Johnson, maintains that his client acted within the legal boundaries of being his mother’s power of attorney. Johnson told Reddy that he will appeal Bryzek’s conviction.
In 1996, Bryzek’s mother appointed him to become her power of attorney. In the legal document, Bryzek’s mother included a clause that gave him the right to provide himself with gifts.
“Every attorney who drafts a power of attorney is putting their client at risk,” Johnson said during the sentencing hearing.
Assistant District Attorney Diane Donohoo argued that Bryzek abused his rights as a power of attorney.
“This is a vicious crime in that the victim is elderly and vulnerable,” Donohoo argued. “His mother trusted him and that was abused and exploited.”
According to bank documents that were entered into evidence during the jury trial, between May 2007 and November 2010 Bryzek made more than 200 transactions that weren’t used for his mother’s benefit.
Those transactions included purchases at hardware stores, pharmacies, grocery stores and checks made out to cash.
A number of checks were made out to a pharmacy, and Bryzek’s mother had one prescription filled at that pharmacy during the time of the thefts.
“He didn’t go out and take a vacation in the Caribbean or buy a fancy new car,” Johnson said. “He bought insulin, he bought food and he got his truck fixed.”
Johnson argued that prosecutors and police twisted the law to convict his client.
“I don’t think that’s the way the law is suppose to work,” Johnson said. “I don’t think the law is a game.”
Johnson said the situation reminded him of the Bob Dylan song “Hurricane.”
“(I) Couldn’t help but make me feel ashamed to live in a land where justice is a game,” Johnson said while quoting Dylan.
Donohoo said the case went to a jury trial and that the jury deliberated for 90 minutes before finding Bryzek guilty.
“He was not wrongly convicted,” she said.
Donohoo also argued that with the population aging it is important to send a message that abuse on the elderly won’t be tolerated.
“All of us in this room will be in this victim’s position someday, where we need someone to take care of us,” Donohoo said.
Before sentencing Bryzek, Reddy said he understood Johnson’s position.
However, he said the jury instructions were carefully crafted to ensure that the jurors had to find that Bryzek acted outside of the “good faith scope” of his authority.
When delivering his sentence, Reddy said Bryzek “violated the trust given to him by his mother”
Family and friends
During the hearing, Bryzek’s bother, Steve, said his brother did nothing wrong. Steve said that Michael took care of his mother and waited on her hand and foot. Bryzek’s mother didn’t attend the hearing. Steve Bryzek said he believes that his mother included the clause in the power of attorney document that allowed for gifts because she knew how much work it was to take care of an elderly person.
“He always put her needs first,” Steve Bryzek said. “He always has done what is best for her.”
Steve testified during his brother’s jury trial. Donohoo said it is the state’s position that Steve gave “false testimony” during the trial.
Not all of Michael’s brothers are standing by their sibling. Another brother, Frank, asked Reddy to give his brother the maximum sentence.
Attorney Howard Schoenfeld said he is a fishing buddy of Michael Bryzek. Schoenfeld said that Michael Bryzek took good care of his mother.
“Putting this man in prison or incarcerating him would not be justice,” Schoenfeld said.
When Michael Bryzek made his statement, he said he regretted not better explaining his mother’s finances to other family members.
February 06, 2014A 49-year-old Burlington man was arrested Jan. 23 for ninth-offense drunken driving in the town of Lyons.
If convicted, Algwyn L. Stanley, 1445 Pleasant St., faces up to 10 years imprisonment and $25,000 in fines.
He also faces a mandatory minimum sentence of three years imprisonment.
| (click for larger version)|
Woman in stabbing case faces new feloniesJanuary 30, 2014
The Walworth County District Attorney’s Office recently filed two new criminal charges against a 41-year-old Lake Geneva woman who is accused of stabbing her live-in boyfriend in the shoulder with a kitchen knife on Jan. 23 during a domestic dispute.
Walworth man faces bond violation chargeJanuary 30, 2014
A 26-year-old Walworth man faces a felony bail jumping charge after his Jan. 9 arrest in the village of Walworth.
Parker G. Voltz, 318 Howard St., has been charged with felony bail jumping. At the time of his arrest, he was free from custody on a felony charge of possession of child pornography.
Judge won't toss charges against Genoa City manJanuary 30, 2014
Walworth County Circuit Court Judge Phillip Koss rejected a motion to dismiss a criminal case against a Genoa City man accused of child sexual assault.
Amrik Singh, 53, 410 Wisconsin St., Apt. C, has been charged with sexual assault of a child under the age of 16.
Lake Geneva man faces 20 new chargesJanuary 23, 2014
On Jan. 16, the Walworth County District Attorney’s Office filed 20 new criminal charges against a Lake Geneva man who was allegedly selling heroin and prescription medication.
Dominic D. Ecklund, 25, is in custody in the Walworth County jail in lieu of a $20,000 cash bond. At the time of his arrest, Ecklund was free from custody on bond on a separate case, in which he is accused of selling prescription medication to a confidential police informant.
In the most recent case, Ecklund has been charged with:
Man gets 10 years for sex assaultJanuary 23, 2014A 29-year-old man was sentenced Jan. 9 to 10 years in a state prison for having sexual contact with two different children. Edil Manuel Ayala Nataren of Whitewater pleaded guilty March 8 to first-degree child sexual assault. In exchange for pleading guilty, the Walworth County District Attorney’s Office agreed to dismiss and read in two counts of repeated sexual assault of the same child.
Woman sentenced after home invasionJanuary 16, 2014
The second suspect in a violent home invasion in Delavan, in which a man was beaten and his stomach was sliced with knife, was sentenced Jan. 3 to three years of probation.
Stephanie N. Vierck, 26, Delavan pleaded guilty to a felony charge of false imprisonment.
A condition of Vierck’s probation was six months in jail with work-release privileges, but she will serve that at her probation agent’s discretion.
On Dec. 10, 2012, Vierck and three other people broke into a man’s home and restrained him and then beat him, according to court documents.
Another suspect in the case, Miranda Decker, 26, was sentenced in December to three years of probation, which includes nine months in jail with work-release privileges.
Decker and Vierck allegedly spit on the man as the two other suspects restrained and beat him.
Decker could have her record expundged if she completes her probation with no violations.
Daylan Love, 25, pleaded guilty in September to felony false imprisonment. When he is sentenced Feb. 7, he faces up to six years in prison and $10,000 in fines.
Steven C. Spencer, 32, pleaded guilty Dec. 4 to a felony charge of false imprisonment and strangulation and suffocation.
When he is sentenced March 6, Spencer faces up to 12 years imprisonment and $20,000 in fines.
According to the criminal complaint:
On Dec. 10, the city of Delavan Police Department went to a home on Fourth Street for a battery complaint.
The victim told police he had been stabbed and beaten by Love and Spencer.
The victim’s girlfriend said she, the victim and her two children were asleep when they heard someone breaking into the home. The victim went downstairs and then told his girlfriend to dial 911.
The woman went downstairs to use the phone but was restrained by Vierck and Decker. Decker said the victim was getting what he deserved.
The woman said she saw Love and Spencer kicking and punching the victim, who was on the floor.
The victim and the woman escaped through a window and ran from the residence.
Three days after the attack, police interviewed the victim.
The victim said Love punched and kneed him, and Spencer choked him until he thought he would lose consciousness or die.
The victim said he felt Spencer reach toward his abdomen and felt a scratching followed by a heat sensation.
The victim’s girlfriend said she saw either Love or Spencer handling a knife.
The surgeon at Mercy-Janesville who treated the victim said he had a 5-centimeter-deep wound in his abdomen area and the victim’s stomach was penetrated.
When the victim could no longer fight back, Love sat on his back while Spencer used tape to bind his wrists.
Decker and Vierck kicked and spat at him as he laid on the floor.
Police spoke with Vierck, Decker and Love. Decker said the four of them went to the man’s residence to “scare” him.
Love admitted to attacking the victim with Spencer. Love told police that he was sorry for the attack and agreed that things got out of hand.
Initially, Vierck told police she had not seen Love on the day of the attack.
She also told police that Spencer was at her home with her children during the attack.
However, she later admitted she was with Love, Decker and Spencer at the victim’s home the night of the attack.
Sex offender accused of officiating gameJanuary 16, 2014
A convicted sex offender is accused of refereeing a sporting event at Big Foot High School in September 2012.
On Monday, the Walworth Police Department referred a felony charge of a sex offender working with children to the Walworth County District Attorney’s Office against Aaron Schreiber.
In Wisconsin, people convicted of a “serious child sex offense” are prohibited from working or volunteering with children.
Schreiber, 32, was certified to be a referee by the WIAA. The Rock Valley-South Conference is responsible for scheduling referees at Big Foot.
According to the Beaver Dam Daily Citizen, Cambria-Friesland athletic director Phil Tallman contacted the WIAA after he learned that Schreiber was a registered sex offender.
Schreiber was convicted of “sodomy with an underage female” in military court, according to the Daily Citizen.
His arrest generated coverage by Wisconsin television stations, which alerted local officials to Schreiber’s status as a sex offender.
Walworth Police Lt. Andy Long said Big Foot Athletic Director Tim Collins recognized Schreiber’s name when he heard about the charges on a recent newscast.
In Dodge County, Schreiber is facing 10 counts of a sexual offender working with children, 15 counts of bomb scare threats and 16 counts of bail jumping in Dodge County. The three charges are felonies.
If convicted of all the charges, Schreiber faces up to 273 1/2 years in prison and $560,000 in fines. On the Green Bay Press Gazette’s website, the newspaper posted a video of Schreiber’s Nov. 15 initial appearance. In that video, Dodge County District Attorney Kurt Klomberg states that Schreiber was a referee at middle school and high school sporting events.
Schreiber’s attorney for the initial appearance argued that the original military charges were in the process of being overturned. Judge Steve Bauer set a $200,000 bond for Schreiber, who is in custody.
Klomberg said that the bomb threats were made to businesses and schools in Green Lake County.
In Green Lake County, Schreiber is facing a felony charge for failing to maintain the sex offender registry and misdemeanor charges of disorderly conduct, obstructing an officer and resisting an officer.
Schreiber is a lifetime registrant on the sex offender registry. Currently, Schreiber’s residence is listed at the Dodge County jail, in Juneau.
Heroin dealer gets six years prisonJanuary 16, 2014A rural East Troy heroin dealer will spend the next six years in a state prison. Jonathan C. Newhouse, 33, pleaded guilty Jan. 8 to two counts of delivering heroin and sixth-offense drunken driving.On one of the heroin charges, Newhouse was sentenced to three years in prison and three years of extended supervision.
Man faces another burglary chargeMyerson allegedly broke into two tavernsJanuary 09, 2014
A man who allegedly burglarized a lakeside restaurant — and then reportedly tried to swim away from police in the nude — has been linked to another tavern burglary.
In August, Kirk P. Myerson, 26, town of Geneva, was charged with burglary of the Mars Resort. That criminal case has been pending since the end of summer, and he is scheduled for a jury trial in February.
Last month, the county District Attorney’s Office charged Myerson with another burglary, this one at the Cruise Inn Bar & Grill in the village of Walworth.
If convicted of both charges, Myerson faces up to 33 years imprisonment and $50,000 in fines.
According to the criminal complaint on the Mars Resort case:
On Aug. 17, police responded to the Mars Resort for a burglary. A window to the restaurant was broken, and it appeared that someone pried open a locked drawer.
A witness told police that he heard someone jump from the air-conditioning unit of his building.
The man then saw someone jump into the water from a pier. The witness was able to point the man out to police.
Police chased the swimming suspect with a police boat and found him about 200 to 250 feet from the shore. The man was naked.
Police were able to locate black shoes, black gloves and a jacket floating in the lake near the location the witness said the man jumped into the water.
Myerson’s vehicle was also located near the resort backed into a stall, doors unlocked and the keys in the ignition.
According to the criminal complaint on the Cruise Inn Bar & Grill case:
On Aug. 11, at 5:17 a.m., police responded to a silent alarm at the tavern. Police found the glass in a back door shattered and signs that someone had tampered with a cash register.
Police saw a suspect wearing a black leather coat and a bandana over his face on the bar’s video surveillance.
When Myerson was arrested in Geneva Township, he was in possession of a black jacket that matched the one in the video surveillance.
The sole marks left on the floor of the bar also matched the shoes that Myerson had at the Mars Resort.
Myerson is facing the charge as a repeater because of a 2010 conviction in Walworth County for burglary. He also was convicted in 2007 of robbery, use of force.
According to the Department of Correction’s website Myerson’s probation has been revoked. He is on probation until January of 2021.
Man back in court after arrest in ChicagoJanuary 09, 2014
ELKHORN — Ryan Sowka, who crashed his car on Highway 120 while allegedly driving high on heroin in 2011, was in court again last month facing charges stemming from a 2012 arrest.
Sowka, 34, was arrested by Chicago police Oct. 18, 2012, because he allegedly had 90 Oxycodone pills in his possession during a traffic stop. At the time, he was free from custody on charges related to the 2011 car accident and had been ordered by the court not to commit any more crimes.
As a result of the Chicago arrest, Sowka now faces Walworth County charges of felony bail jumping. Those charges were filed in March, but Sowka didn’t make a court appearance until December 2013.
Sowka was charged in December 2011 with possessing heroin and two counts of operating under the influence of a controlled substance causing injury as a second offense. Those charges are still pending. Sowka was convicted June 24, 2002, for operating under the influence of an intoxicant, which is why the charge is elevated to a second offense.
According to the criminal complaint on the crash:
On Oct. 29, 2011, the town of Bloomfield Police Department responded to a head-on collision that occurred on Highway 120.
At the scene, police spoke to Sowka, who was driving one of the vehicles involved in the crash. Sowka told police he fell asleep while driving.
Police searched the vehicle for identifying information and located a case containing several hypodermic needles, a needle containing a clear substance, cotton swabs, a bent spoon, a lighter and small plastic bindles containing heroin.
Inside the vehicle, police also located a container with numerous pills, which were suspected to be Clonazepam. After the crash, Sowka was transported to Froedtert Hospital by Flight for Life.
At the hospital, Sowka told police he had used heroin earlier in the day, and a blood draw was taken at 3:03 a.m. The crash occurred at about 12:10 a.m.
At the scene of the accident, police spoke to two 16-year-olds that were in the other vehicle.
The driver said she was traveling south on Highway 120 when she observed a vehicle completely enter her lane of traffic.
The driver attempted to swerve to avoid the crash but was struck by the vehicle, which was in her lane of traffic.
The driver reported to police that her nose was bleeding as a result of the crash. Both the driver and passenger were transported to the hospital after the crash.
The passenger was treated for neck pain and was diagnosed with a cervical strain. The driver was treated for knee pain.
According to the criminal complaint on the bail jumping charge:
On Cicero Avenue in Chicago police stopped Sowka’s vehicle and saw 90 blue Oxycodone Pills on the passenger seat. The pill bottle had another person’s name on it.
|California power regulator to address allegations
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — California's chief utility regulator is expected to address allegations of backroom dealings with the state's largest utility on Thursday when he presides over his last voting meeting of the five-member commission...
Oklahoma prisons lawyer says he felt pressured
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A longtime lawyer for Oklahoma's prison system says he felt pressured by the governor's and attorney general's offices to make sure executions last spring happened on schedule, despite the lack of an execution method...