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Charges changed against Tran; Rhinelander woman could face 60 years in prison in reckless homicide of toddlerSubmitted: 08/16/2017
RHINELANDER - Ellen Tran, a 28-year-old Rhinelander woman, could now face up to 60 years in prison in the death of her 20-month-old stepson.

On Wednesday, Oneida County District Attorney Michael Schiek amended the charge against Tran from Second Degree Reckless Homicide to First Degree Reckless Homicide.

An autopsy showed 20-month-old Avery Edwards died of blunt force trauma to the head on April 14. Tran was watching the boy, and told police Edwards fell in the shower. But doctors treating Edwards thought it looked more like a child abuse case.


A conviction for Second Degree Reckless Homicide carries a maximum penalty of 25 years in prison. The new charge, First Degree Reckless Homicide, is punishable by up to 60 years in prison.

Reached at the Oneida County Courthouse on Wednesday, Schiek declined comment on the amended charge.

Tran will return to Oneida County Court on October 17 for a pre-trial conference.

Click the links below for additional coverage of this case.

Related Weblinks:
UPDATE: Rhinelander woman arrested in death of 20-month-old boy
Case moves forward against Oneida County woman accused in stepson's death
Judge rejects Ellen Tran's attempt to throw out stepchild's death case
Rhinelander woman faces reckless homicide charges in stepson's death

Story By: Ben Meyer

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 LOCAL NEWS

RHINELANDER - A one-year-old baby was hospitalized in Rhinelander after digesting marijuana.

Twenty-one-year-old Anika Wildcat-Chapman was babysitting the one-year-old between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. on August 5.

According to the criminal complaint, Wildcat-Chapman left the child with her mother to buy an edible marijuana cookie at a friend's house. 

When she returned home, Wildcat-Chapman left the cookie on top of the dishwasher.  

The child's parents picked up the child and later noticed the child was lethargic and not acting "normal." 

The parents brought the baby to St. Mary's Hospital in Rhinelander and the child tested positive for marijuana. 

The child was flown to a different hospital for further care.

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CRANDON - The lawyer for Sokaogon Chippewa Tribal Chair Chris McGeshick repeated that allegations of battery and false imprisonment are "absolutely false" at McGeshick's first court appearance in Forest County Wednesday.

McGeshick faces one felony count and two misdemeanor counts in Forest County Court.

A former tribal member told police McGeshick slammed him against a wall at the Sokaogon Chippewa Tribal Offices in late June.

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RHINELANDER - Our nervous system controls the whole show when it comes to our bodies, especially how they feel.

Chiropractic care is one method people use to keep that system moving.

Hometown Chiropractic is new to Rhinelander, but it's no stranger to the Northwoods; its main location is in Tomahawk.

People might think traumas like slipping on ice or car accidents are the only reasons to see a chiropractor.

Dr. Grace Zuiker Nash says you don't need to be injured to come in.

"We want to get those misalignments checked. Sometimes they don't show up as a major pain symptom.

They show up as something smaller and less obvious," says Dr. Grace.

Dr. Grace says she sees babies as soon as one day old.

That's because nervous system issues should be treated sooner rather than later.

"We as adults know that they don't feel good. We want the best for our kids and we don't want to see them go through that," says Dr. Grace.

Hometown Chiropractic always accepts new patients.


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GREEN BAY - A Green Bay middle school named for legendary Packers coach Vince Lombardi has hired four coaches, saving a football season the school previously had canceled.

Administrators at Lombardi Middle School called off the season earlier this summer because no one applied to be a coach. After word got out, offers began to flow in.

The school has hired four coaches and scheduled signup and equipment handout for later this month. Practice is to begin August 28th.

The school is named for Vince Lombardi, who coached the Packers from 1959-67 and won five NFL championships and the first two Super Bowls.

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 REGIONAL NEWS

MILWAUKEE - Relatives of man who died of dehydration at the Milwaukee County jail last year have filed another federal lawsuit for his death.

The lawsuit filed Monday on the behalf of the estate of 38-year-old Terrill Thomas says he lost 34 pounds during the week he was left in his cell without water in April 2016. It's the second lawsuit his family has filed against Sheriff David Clarke, members of his staff, and the county.

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA - A judge has denied bond for an Ohio man accused of plowing his car into a crowd at a white nationalist rally.

Judge Robert Downer said during a bond hearing Monday he would appoint a lawyer for James Alex Fields Jr.

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UNION GROVE - The sheriff heading the investigation into the slayings of three Illinois men at a southern Wisconsin race track says a gunman shot two of the victims, followed the third as he tried to run away and shot him, then returned to the other two and shot them a second time.

At a news conference outside the Great Lakes Dragaway near Union Grove, Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth said Monday the man who killed the three Sunday night is still at large.

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MADISON - Wildlife officials here in Wisconsin may use methods like electric fencing to stop bears from damaging crops.

Over the last seven years about 275 farmers have enrolled in a state program that compensates farmers for damage bears cause.

Last year's appraised damage was $220,000.

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