Accomplice, other witnesses testify in Three Lakes attempted armed robbery, shooting trial in Oneida Co. Submitted: 01/23/2018
ONEIDA COUNTY - A man testifying against 30-year-old Edwin Hughes called him 'like family' on Tuesday in an Oneida County courtroom. 
Prosecutors accuse Hughes of three felonies tied to an attempted armed robbery seven years ago.

Daniel Frausto was on the witness stand for more than two hours talking about his relationship with Hughes over the years. Frausto claims he and Hughes were involved in many robberies.

Frausto testified he and Hughes went into Donald DalPonte's home in February 2011 with the intention of stealing money.

Frausto said Hughes was holding a 9 mm semi-automatic to DalPonte's legs to intimidate him while Frausto looked for a safe.

"Mr. Hughes had shot Mr. DalPonte. It turned into let's get out of here," said Frausto.

Frausto testified Hughes grabbed the bullet casing and they both left the home. Frausto also said he told Hughes to shoot DalPonte several times. DalPonte survived from his injuries.

During his testimony, Frausto claimed Hughes was like family.

"I feel like I led the guy astray. The kid, he needed somebody in his life and I showed him the wrong way," said Frausto.

Defense attorney Beth Svehlek questioned Frausto on the truthfulness of his testimony. Svehlek argued Frausto is testifying against Hughes for his own benefit in a deal made with police.

Frausto is serving 11 years in prison for his part in the crime.

Robert Miles, a man who claimed to have committed crimes with Frausto and Hughes, also testified Tuesday. He said the three men committed burglaries together over time. Miles added the men would target business owners and did research before any act. 
"Usually looking on White Pages to see how old they were, to see if they have kids, what they owned, the income that the business had," said Miles.

At the time of the attempted armed robbery, Brian Schultz was the surgeon who worked on DalPonte. During his testimony, Schultz showed the jury pictures of the procedure done on DalPonte.

"[DalPonte had] what we would call a 'through and through' gunshot wound. You're looking for signs of muscular damage, skin damage, vessel damage, [and] excessive bleeding," said Schultz.

David Kroll, a retired detective with the Oneida County Sheriff's Office spoke about his involvement in the investigation.

Kroll said in Frausto's interview with police, Frausto used specific detail to describe the Oneida County robbery. Frausto also told police Hughes was his accomplice.

"It was very clear to me that nobody could provide such information unless they were physically present at the time the crime occurred," said Kroll.

A detective from the Winnebago County Sheriff's Office also took the stand. For several years, Jack Theyerl said he investigated burglaries with similar patterns around the state. Several of which, he says, Hughes and Frausto were involved in.

The State also called William Newhouse to the witness stand. Newhouse worked as a firearms examiner with the Wisconsin Department of Justice laboratory. Newhouse testified he examined evidence sent to the crime lab from the Oneida County Sheriff's Office at the time.

"This bullet is a 9 mm luger bullet and that it was fired from a gun, a pistol, most likely a semi-automatic pistol that was designed to fire a 9 mm luger cartridge," said Newhouse.

The defense made clear no weapon was ever recovered during the investigation. Frausto testified that he "disposed of" the 9 mm semi-automatic Hughes used to shoot Donald DalPonte in the legs.

In addition to the Oneida County charges, Hughes currently faces burglary, theft, or robbery charges in Fond du Lac, Dane, Calumet and Outagamie counties.

The Oneida County trial is scheduled to last through Wednesday.

Click on the link below for a recap of day one in the trial:

Related Weblinks:
Day One Recap Story

Story By: Allie Herrera

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