Man gets 20-year sentence for punching jail workerSubmitted: 09/19/2014
WAUSAU - 22-year-old Fredrick Morris will spend more than 18 years in prison for punching, and nearly killing, a Marathon County Jail employee in 2014. Morris was sentenced in Marathon County Court Friday.

Julie Christensen was critically injured and admitted to the hospital after the attack. Prosecutor Kenneth Heimerman said her life was saved because of the work of medical officials shortly after the attack.

Christensen didn't attend the sentencing in Wausau, but Heimerman read a letter from Christenson to the court about how difficult it has been after the attack.

"My life will never be the same," Christensen said in a letter read to the court. "Every aspect of my life will be altered by this event."
Heimerman said Christensen might have permanent brain damage and issues with nerves.

The punch happened after a guard had told Morris to go to his cell. They'd have to use force if he didn't. That's when Morris threw the punch. After, he told police it wouldn't of happened if the guard simply didn't use the phrase "use force."

"That's what his mind thinks," Heimerman said. "That's how this crime would have been prevented? Isn't that scary? Aren't these comments some of the scariest stuff you have heard come out of somebodies mouth."

According to Police reports, Morris told officers the assault had nothing to do with Christenson, but Morris said the punch was an impulse because he felt disrespected.

"He said he would not stand for being disrespected on the street," Heimerman said. "So why should he stand for it when he was in jail."

Morris was in jail for drugs. He also faced gun and battery charges from separate cases. Those charges were both read into court and attributed to the sentencing for Morris. His attorney John Wallace argued for leniency because of the difficult childhood Morris went through in Chicago.

"Being exposed to gangs at age eight, (that's ) negative, so he is a product of America, that is the American culture," Wallace said.

Prosecutors say Morris told fellow inmates he wanted to bring Chicago's Cook County mentality to the Marathon County Jail, but Judge Michael Moran doesn't want that to happen.

"Mr. Wallace, I'm not ready to hold up the white flag, if that is the way the country is headed, then I am not ready to go there, and I will kick and scream before we do, I can guarantee you that," Moran said.

Meanwhile, Morris sat quietly asking desperately for rehab over prison.

"I'm sorry for what happened to both of the guards. I am deeply sorry. I know I have affected their families, and I know I have affected my family," Morris said.

Morris' mother emotionally pled for less than a maximum sentence. She says she's battling health issues and might not be around when her son gets out.

"I have all kinds of things going on with me, and I want my baby to come home," Morris' mother said.

Judge Moran didn't think there was any other option besides a maximum sentence.

"I think you are impulsive, I think you are scary, and I think that the DA's words are exactly correct, that frankly you're a loaded gun ready to go off."

Morris will serve 18 years in prison after getting more than 500 days of credit for time served in jail. He'll also have nine years of extended supervision.

Story By: Adam Fox

Text Size: + Increase | Decrease -
 Print Story Print Story | Email Story Email Story

Sentencing planned for attack on corrections officerSubmitted: 09/19/2014

Play Video

WAUSAU - A man convicted of attacking a jail officer in Marathon County will learn his sentence today.

22 year old Fredrick Morris pled no contest to agrivated battery and battery by a prisoner.

Prosecutors say Morris was the inmate who threw a punch which knocked a Marathon County jail officer unconscious.

The attack happened last year in March.

Julie Christensen was critically injured and admitted to the hospital.

+ Read More
Bad weather takes a toll on local vineyardsSubmitted: 09/19/2014

TRIPOLI - A cool summer and a lot of rain hurt grape growing conditions this year. Some winemakers in the Northwoods don't have enough grapes to make wine and they worry the harsh weather may have hurt their vineyards.

"Here's a couple of vines that we lost," explained David Welbes, owner of Brigadoon Winery. "They died."

Many vineyards in the Northwoods don't look good this year. The bad weather has made it nearly impossible for grapes to grow into a healthy crop.

+ Read More
Northwoods churches invite people in for Back to Church SundaySubmitted: 09/19/2014

RHINELANDER - Northwoods ministers want more people to go to church this Sunday. That's true every Sunday, but they're putting a special emphasis on this week.

Calvary Baptist Church in Rhinelander is one of many churches taking part in National Back to Church Sunday.

A vast majority of Americans believe in God,but a much smaller minority attend church on a regular basis.

+ Read More
Riverside Athletic Club holds open house on SaturdaySubmitted: 09/19/2014

MERRILL - You can learn more about ways to stay fit and have fun with the family this weekend.

Riverside Athletic Club in Merrill is holding an open house on Saturday. Families can stop by the open house from 8 a.m. till 1 p.m. on Saturday.

+ Read More
Northwoods program offers college courses for students with intellectual disabilitiesSubmitted: 09/19/2014

RHINELANDER - Some Northwoods groups work hard to make sure everyone can experience college.

The Jump Start program in Rhinelander teaches job skills to people with intellectual disabilities. The program is held at Nicolet College.

Nicolet College, Northland Pines and Rhinelander School Districts and Headwaters work together on the program.

Students learn skills for jobs during the fall semester.

+ Read More
Child sex-related crimes send Rhinelander man to jailSubmitted: 09/19/2014

RHINELANDER - A Rhinelander man inappropriately touched a young girl this May.

The victim was younger than 10 years old.

Blaine Ciardo admitted his actions and apologized in Oneida County Court on Friday. But Ciardo will spend another year in jail. He has spent almost four months in jail so far.

+ Read More
Human Service Center welcomes new executive directorSubmitted: 09/19/2014

RHINELANDER - A familiar face will lead a Northwoods organization dedicated to helping individuals and families.

Tamara Feest became Executive Director of the Human Service Center earlier this month.

The center is located in Rhinelander and serves Oneida, Vilas and Forest counties.

+ Read More
+ More Local News

Click Here