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Prosecutor clears deputy in eighth-grader's deathSubmitted: 01/19/2018
Story By Newswatch 12 Team

Prosecutor clears deputy in eighth-grader's death
ASHLAND - The death of a teen carrying a butcher knife who was shot by an Ashland County Sheriff's Deputy led to a march, rallies, and community discussions about police relations.

Friday, a special prosecutor cleared the deputy in that shooting.

Ashland County Sheriff's Deputy Brock Mrdjenovich shot and killed Jason Pero, 14, in November.

Police believe Pero wanted to die.

In a 911 call, the teen was the one who told police someone was walking around with a knife that day. Pero described a a guy walking around outside his house with a knife. The man was wearing a purple sweatshirt. 

Investigators said the deputy saw Pero walking around with a knife outside his house on the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa reservation and fired after the boy lunged at him.

Photos of from the search warrant show a note saying, "I love you all. Sorry. Stay happy. Love, Jason."

Ashland County District Attorney Michael Nieskes said in a letter Friday to the state Justice Department and Sheriff Mick Brennan that the shooting was justified.

Nieskes also said an autopsy showed Pero had fentanyl, an opioid pain medication, in his system and a number of apparently self-inflicted cuts on his arms.

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 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 04/23/2019

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:


The attorney for Robin Mendez today tried to convince the jury that another man, one who was upset with Mendez's wife, could have been the one who killed her back in 1982. You'll hear some of the testimony from a witness who may have seen that man the night of the murder.

Some Rhinelander residents have been without phone, internet and cable services for about 2 weeks, and they want some answers from Frontier. We'll bring you the details and talk with some of those frustrated customers.

And we'll talk to a Stevens Point state senator about a proposed bill that would ban what its authors are calling "selective abortions."


We'll bring you all this and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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MERCER - The five current and former Mercer school board members charged with class I felonies will not face jail time after their charges were dropped.

Denise Thompson, Kelly Kohegyi, Noel Brandt, Micki Holmstrom, and Deanna Pierpont all appeared in court for the first time and learned Monday that all of their charges were dismissed.

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ONEIDA COUNTY - Robin Mendez's attorney tried to shift blame for Barbara Mendez's murder to another man Tuesday. 

Attorney Peter Prusinski called four final witnesses, some who saw a man at the credit union who may have been Thomas Boze on the night of the murder. 

Thomas Boze was at the Park City Credit Union the day Barbara Mendez was killed. Prosecutors don't dispute that. 

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MADISON - Gov. Tony Evers says he will veto a Republican-authored bill that could send doctors to prison for life if they fail to give medical care to babies born alive after a failed abortion attempt.

The Democratic Evers tells the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel in a story published Tuesday that he won't sign the bill because of existing protections and criminal penalties in state law.

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ONEIDA COUNTY - Robin Mendez's defense attorney argued there's not enough physical evidence to convict his client of murder. 

Mendez is on trial for killing his wife Barbara in 1982.

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ST. GERMAIN - A one-car crash in Vilas County sent a driver and three young children to the hospital Monday evening.

According to Vilas Co. Sheriff's Captain Gerry Ritter, the female driver and child were thrown from the car when it rolled over on Highway 70 westbound in St. Germain around 5 p.m.  

Two other children were also in the car at the time.  Ritter did not have ages for the people involved, but noted all three children were in car seats.

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MINOCQUA - According to a Nestle frozen foods representative, Wisconsin ranks number one per capita in frozen pizza consumption in the United States. A lot of the best-selling brands are based in the badger state. 

Orv's, Brew Pub, and Roma pizza brands are all made by Bernatello's Foods in Outagamie County. Bernatello's National Sales Manager Denny Terrance said frozen pizza has become a staple food in Wisconsin.

"A lot of that is based towards the quality of the meats that you see on the market these days, the premium toppings that you see," said Terrance.

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