Loading
Search
NEWS STORIES

Judge erases conviction, prison sentence in Oneida County standoff caseSubmitted: 11/22/2017
Ben Meyer
Ben Meyer
Managing Editor / Senior Reporter
bmeyer@wjfw.com

Judge erases conviction, prison sentence in Oneida County standoff case
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.


"Attorney Streicher never informed [Welsh] of the elements to [ensure] that he understood the elements for the charge of which he pled guilty," Welsh's motion read.

Bloom agreed, and vacated the conviction and sentence. He ruled Welsh wasn't fully informed about the crime to which he was making a plea.

Streicher told us he couldn't be certain whether he shared all the elements of the felony charge with Welsh.

"I don't really remember exactly what I said," Streicher said.

The charges remain in place against Welsh, but the process reverts to where it was before his pleas. That means Welsh could keep or change his pleas. If pleading guilty or no contest, he would be sentenced again. If pleading not guilty, the case would go to a jury trial.

Retired Judge Tim Vocke wasn't involved with the case, but he said a move to throw out convictions and a prison sentence is rare.

"It's not very common [to have convictions vacated]," he said.

"Having somebody in prison, having been sentenced, to complain that an attorney hasn't adequately represented them, is very common," Vocke said, noting chances of success in that complaint are generally small. "But you know, like in any other profession, mistakes [by attorneys] are made. That's just the way it is."

Vocke said the plea process--with an extensive plea questionnaire and conversation between judge, defendant, and lawyer--usually prevents such issues.

"Here's where I think it's critical," Vocke said. "The attorney is supposed to go through each and every element of a criminal charge [with the defendant]."

The case will go back to Oneida County Court on December 4 for a status conference.

Text Size: + Increase | Decrease -
| Print Story | Email Story
Sponsored in part by HodagSports.com





 IN OTHER NEWS

Play Video

RHINELANDER - Some people bought a brat Saturday in support of a Northwoods organization. Wild Instincts held a brat sale fundraiser outside of Trig's in Rhinelander.

Volunteers sold brats, hot dogs, and even veggie dogs for the sale. 

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - Dozens of people geared up for golf with top of the line, professional golfing equipment at Northwood Golf Club in Rhinelander Saturday.

The annual demo day let people try out the best clubs, grips and hedges on the market.

General Manager Kyle Christian says it's a great way to bring tourists to Rhinelander.

+ Read More

MILWAUKEE - Law enforcement officers are looking for 25-year-old inmate Tasir Bhatti who escaped from the Marshall Sherrer Correctional Center in Milwaukee. 

Bhatti was serving a five-year sentence for drug charges. The Department of Corrections reported the inmate's escape to the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office and the Milwaukee Police Department.

Bhatti is 5'9, 179 lbs., and has brown hair and eyes. Anyone with information regarding Bhatti's location should immediately contact law enforcement. 

+ Read More

TOWN OF RINGLE - Emergency responders got a report of a garage fire around 12:43 a.m. Saturday morning in the Town of Ringle according to the Marathon County Sheriff's Office.

When firefighters arrived to the 11000 block of Oasis Drive, the unattached garage was engulfed in flames. The sheriff's office reports the garage, which was used as a workshop, is a total loss. 

Ringle Fire, along with Wausau Fire, Easton Fire, and SAFER Fire, were able to extinguish the fire before the home became totally involved. But the side of the home does have significant damage.

The fire department and sheriff's office are investigating the cause of the fire. 



+ Read More

Play Video

TOMAHAWK - Many race car and dirt track drivers will rev up their engines at the Tomahawk Speedway Saturday, which is when the dirt season starts.

The dirt track season starts Saturday.

"It's awesome, the adrenaline rush is great," said race car driver Shauna Cottrell when she was doing some practice runs at the speedway.

"I'm not going to lie; it can be scary at times. But it's the thrill of a life time," said Cottrell.

After doing a few practice runs around the track last week, Cottrell is ready for the dirt racing season to kick off Sunday at the Tomahawk Speedway.

"It feels great to know that I can get out and compete with the guys," said Cottrell.

+ Read More

Play Video

MERRILL - A Northwoods school pulled off a big surprise on Friday to honor a few veterans. After months of planning, students and staff at Kate Goodrich Elementary got to see the payoff of all their hard work.

"It was like kind of overwhelming," said Wolfgang Lenk. 

Lenk, Todd Annis, and Randy Perry had no idea they would be the guests of honor.

"To see all these kids and knowing how hard they worked selling all this, and now your name comes up that you're one of the three recipients, it was awesome," said Annis. 

+ Read More

Play Video

TOMAHAWK - Two months ago, Governor Scott Walker signed a $100 million school safety plan into law. The bill includes grants specifically for security upgrades in schools. 

The Tomahawk School District plans to apply for a grant and hopes to use feedback from the community to come up with a plan. The school has to submit the grant by June 8. 

The Tomahawk School District wanted to start a conversation with its community about school safety. Earlier this spring, it hosted safety roundtable discussions to do just that. 

"We thought we could get more information from our communities," said Superintendent Terry Reynolds. 

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 





Click Here