Man accused of Rhinelander cold-case murder wants change of venue after Newswatch 12 reportSubmitted: 04/14/2015
Man accused of Rhinelander cold-case murder wants change of venue after Newswatch 12 report
Story By Ben Meyer

RHINELANDER - Shannon Wolf's public defender thinks a jury from Oneida County might be biased against his client if his case goes to trial.

Wolf is charged with killing Kenneth Wells in 2003 in Rhinelander.

Wolf's public defender argued on Tuesday that a past Newswatch 12 report could unfairly prejudice potential jurors.

Last month, Newswatch 12 aired parts of a video recording in which Latoya Wolf, Shannon's ex-wife, reenacted her account of the alleged murder while investigators interviewed her.

She says Shannon Wolf forced her to help him kill Wells and push Wells' body into the Wisconsin River in Rhinelander.

Public defender Maggie Hogan argued on Tuesday the Newswatch 12 report could unfairly influence potential jurors.

"I don't think that it's informative; I think that it's inflammatory," Hogan said. "That's just a minor clip of one example of what the public has been hearing with respect to this case."

Oneida County District Attorney Mike Schiek disagreed, however, and sought to keep the case in Rhinelander. "The defendant has, on one hand, a right to a fair trial, due process rights," he said. "But the media also has a constitutional right to report. Freedom of the press."

Schiek also looked to clarify why he chose to play the video at Shannon Wolf's preliminary hearing.

"It was in no way intended to inflame the information," he said. "It was, I think, informational. It was required for my burden of proof."

Hogan wants potential jurors to come from outside the Newswatch 12 viewing area.

Oneida County Judge Michael Bloom will rule on her request at a hearing on May 15.

You can find a link to the original Newswatch 12 story below.

Related Weblinks:
Original reenactment story

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