MADISON - A homeless man has been ordered committed to a state mental hospital for up to 46 years for the fatal beating of another homeless man in Madison.
Thirty-three-year-old Justin Brooks pleaded guilty Thursday to first-degree reckless homicide. Brooks was accused of beating 61-year-old Robert Kuntz with a table leg as Kuntz slept on the Capitol Square nearly a year ago.
But the Wisconsin State Journal (http://bit.ly/1oy8IA5) reports Brooks was found not guilty by reason of mental illness and was ordered committed.
Under a plea agreement, a first-degree intentional homicide charge against Brooks was reduced to reckless homicide.
One of Brooks' lawyers says Brooks did not know Kuntz, and armed himself with a table leg because he thought Kuntz was armed with a knife and was out to get him.
RHINELANDER - Nineteen months ago, 10 police agencies surrounded the Tripoli home of Kenneth Welsh.
Police say Welsh caused a three-hour standoff, threatened to blow up his house, and threatened to kill his wife.
Later in court, he was convicted of two felonies and sentenced to three years in prison by Oneida County Judge Michael Bloom.
But now, those convictions and prison sentence have been erased. This month, while in prison, Welsh argued he didn't fully understand all the elements of one of the crimes to which he pleaded no contest, first-degree recklessly endangering safety. Welsh's motion put some of the blame on his defense attorney, Rod Streicher.
RHINELANDER - A number of Rhinelander police and firefighters will work a weekend morning shift in December and won't get paid for it. It's an extra task they're happy to help with.
The Rhinelander Police Department's Shop With a Cop program returns December 16. Police and firefighters take 20 third grade students from Crescent, Pelican, Zion, and Nativity schools shopping for Christmas presents at Walmart. The schools recommend students for the event.
RHINELANDER - This holiday season, you might want to tell your child to hug family members at holiday gatherings.
The Girls Scouts of the USA hopes you won't. The organization is saying daughters don't owe anyone physical affection, and that the expectation of hugs and kisses could have bad aftereffects later in life.
"I think for some people, it is a new concept," said Melissa K., the domestic violence coordinator at Tri-County Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual assault, which is based in Rhinelander.
In a post, the Girl Scouts of the USA told parents their daughters don't "owe anyone a hug. Not even at the holidays."
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