Mole Lake Gang Homicide Attempt Puts Daniels Behind BarsSubmitted: 03/26/2013
Ben Meyer
Ben Meyer
Managing Editor / Senior Reporter

Mole Lake Gang Homicide Attempt Puts Daniels Behind Bars
CRANDON - Every gang needs a local "enforcer" or "leader".

Among the Latin Kings gang in Forest County, it looks like Jesse Daniels was that person.

Forest County's top prosecutor said Daniels was the one calling the shots last February.

That's when a man was nearly stabbed to death by the Latin Kings in Mole Lake.

On Tuesday, Daniels got the harshest punishment so far of the six charged in the stabbing.

Daniels becomes the fourth person to be put in prison in this case.

He will be imprisoned for eight years, with eight more on extended supervision to follow.

That's on the charge of second degree intentional homicide for trying to stab the Wausau man to death.

"When we look at everyone involved, Mr. Daniels is the leader. Mr. Daniels is the one that organized all of this. Mr. Daniels is the one who had the investment of $20,000. He's the enforcer for the Latin Kings. He's the one that gave the orders. He's the one that made the planning. He's the one that coordinated with Trevor Lenz and the other guys to make sure that this occurred," said Forest County District Attorney Chuck Simono during the sentencing.

The eight year prison sentence is actually more than Simono asked for.

Daniels' attorney argued for a three-year prison sentence.

But Judge Patrick O'Melia showed little sympathy.

"You hit somebody with a frying pan. A cast iron frying pan. I read somewhere that it broke out the bottom. I thought, no, it must have been a typo, or this thing was so badly rotted, I don't know. Even that, to pop out the bottom of a frying pan, could have killed him," he said.

It's the second time in his life Daniels will be imprisoned.

His criminal record goes back to 2002, when he was just nine years old.

"I hope and pray that the time I'm sentenced to won't take too much time away from me and my family. While I'm incarcerated, my understanding will be to learn from my actions and my mistakes," Daniels told O'Melia.

We mentioned Daniels is the fourth of the six suspects sent to prison.

The total time imprisoned between those four will be 23 years.

Two more defendants in the case, Dakota Tuckwab and Trevor Lenz, wait for trial dates in June.

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RHINELANDER - This time of year, winter activies start to wind down and the summer fun hasn't quite started yet.

That's why Fisher's Resort and Bar on Lake George in Rhinelander enjoys having it's annual ice golf tournament each year.

"In year's past, March is always kind of a slower season up here in the Northwoods so we figured we'd create an event and put efforts towards a local organization," said Fisher's Resort and Bar owner, Russ Fisher.

That local organization they raise money for is the Hodag Sno-trails snowmobile club.

This year, the tournament had it's biggest turn out.

30 teams came to play, including first timer Dennis Herrmann who lives right across the lake.

"This has nothing to do with golf, I can tell you that right now. But it's a challenge for all the obvious reasons. But you do it for the charity, you do it for the fun and it gives everybody the chance to get out," said Herrmann.

This year they cut it down from 18 holes to 13 so people could get inside faster to enjoy the chili and the raffle items after their round of golf.

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WAUSAU - When you think of Wisconsin, two things might come to mind - beer and snow. 

The Granite Peak Ski Area in Wausau decided to combine the two and host an annual brew fest. 

Andy Ledesma is the head brewer at Red Eye Brewing Company in Wausau. The Granite Peak Brew Fest is one of the many perks of his job.

"No other beer fest is like this, that's for sure," said Ledesma.

He definitely wasn't alone serving more than 40 beers on Saturday. 

Jeff Geurink works for South Shore Brewery in Ashland. They've been around for 20 years, but they wanted to make this brew fest a part of their line up.

"Get our name out there and make sure people are enjoying our beer and get as much information as possible out about our brewery so then when they go out and get a beer, they remember us," said Geurink.

Something everyone will remember from the brew fest was the set-up.

"Snow bar?! You can't get that in the summer time," said Roland Bruhnke.

He's right. Most beer festivals are in the summer. But when it's still feeling like winter in March, Granite Peak turns lemons into lemonade, or more appropriately, hops into beer.

"I think it definitely helped that when they get to the bottom of the hill, you see a bunch of beer," said beer salesman Jesse Bartnik.

So even though beer and physical activity isn't the best combination, dozens of people were loving it this weekend.

"The winter, the skiing, the beer, it's all one big package all rolled into one," said Bruhnke.

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RHINELANDER - An Oneida County judge set a trial date for a Rhinelander woman charged in the death of her toddler stepson.
Ellen Tran's trial is expected to start with jury selection on October 19.

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MADISON - The Conservation Congress plans to ask attendees at its spring hearings whether lawmakers should charge people to use state land and eliminate group hunting.

The congress asks hearing attendees every year for their positions on current outdoors issues. The answers are advisory only.

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CRANDON - Planners in Tomahawk dreamed about a bike loop around the city starting in the early 2000s.

Two decades later, it's finally about to happen.

After more than 15 years of negotiation, the city bought a critical piece of land from the Canadian National railroad.

It will allow the city to start building a 4.6 mile bike loop around the city.

"It's a win-win for everybody. There was a little frustration from by position, but you just...kept your foot on the gas through the whole process," said Tomahawk Public Works Director John Cole.

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RHINELANDER - Kathie Woodford keeps track of each time she donates blood.  Her visit to a Rhinelander blood drive on Friday marked her 26th pint.

"I just recently got my third gallon," Woodford said.

The universal donor (Woodford has O-negative blood) likes to give as often as she can, but Friday's blood drive was one she simply couldn't miss.

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ANTIGO - "It did come as a shock at first, but it's something that you realize it's not the end of the world," said Tracie Quade. 

Quade's 18-month old son, Benny, was diagnosed with Down syndrome when he was born.

"It's actually a really, really awesome thing. People with Down syndrome are wonderful loving people and they are just as capable of doing as much as anybody else," said Quade.

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