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NEWS STORIES

Mole Lake Stabbing Case ReviewSubmitted: 01/01/2013
Story By Lyndsey Stemm

CRANDON - We've been recapping some of the years biggest stories, both in the state of Wisconsin, and here in the Northwoods.

This story is most notable for the fact that six young men are accused of trying to stab a man to death in Mole Lake. It's a crime that could send them to prison for most of their lives.

"The fact that you've got so many people involved in one beating can add to a lot of confusion. The trials themselves I think will be pretty straight forward," said Forest County District Attorney Chuck Simono back when the case began.

In February last year six Mole Lake men are accused of a gang-related stabbing. Most of them teenagers, the youngest of them was just 15 at the time.

"He's clearly indicated that he is part of the Latin Kings. I believe he is a good soldier, if you will, for the gang, doing what he's supposed to. And he's still doing what he's supposed to by keeping his mouth shut," said Simono at one of the sentencing hearings.

The three youngest defendants, Melvin Zarda, Craig McGeshick and Preston Krusensterna, have been found guilty.

They'll spend from four to seven years in prison. That's a lot less than the up to 60 years they faced. They each made deals with the state that lowered their initial first degree attempted murder charges.

"It's not only a failure of the community or the school, but also the parents. Someone should have been here for this young man. Instead of encouraging him to do well they gave him the opportunity to fail," said Judge Leon Stenz at Krusensterna's sentencing.

Jesse Daniels, Dakota Tuckwab and Trevor Lenz are still scheduled for trial this month, each still facing the attempted murder charges.

"We have a saying in law enforcement that there's one ticket for the bus. Whoever gets the ticket first is getting on the bus, meaning whoever gives that information first gets that ride," said Simono.

Melvin Zarda took that deal. He's already been sentenced, but if the remaining three defendants go to trial he'll have to testify as to exactly what their roles were in the stabbing, and he could have to testify at their sentencings as well.

We'll keep you updated as the final three cases move forward this month and later this spring.


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