State v. Eddie Lee Anthony, 2015 WI 20, affirming unpublished COA decision; click here for docket and briefs

Resolving an issue of first impression, SCOW has decided that a defendant may forfeit his constitutional right to testify by stating an intent to bring up irrelevant matters or by engaging in conduct incompatible with the assertion of that right. Also, the erroneous denial of the right to testify is subject to a harmless error analysis–even where the record shows the defendant would testify to both relevant and irrelevant matters.

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State v. Bernard Ikechukwel Onyeukwu, 2014AP518-CR, 2/26/15, District 4 (not recommended for publication); click here for briefs.

The State charged the defendant with 10 counts of sexual assault, 5 of which required proof that the victim suffered from a mental deficiency and that the defendant knew it. The jury acquitted on 6 counts. Just 2 of the convictions required proof of mental deficiency. They spawned interesting grounds for appeal, but this decision just wasn’t up to the task.

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State v. Eduardo Ivanez, 2013AP1901-CR, 2/26/15,  District 1 (not recommended for publication); click here for briefs

Ivanez appealed his conviction for 1st-degree intentional homicide and hiding a corpse on the grounds that statements he made to the police should have been suppressed and the admission of those statements impelled him to testify that he killed the victim in self-defense, a dubious trial strategy. The court of appeals assumed, without deciding, that the trial court had erred but affirmed under the harmless error doctrine.

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Leaving messages with foster parents does not qualify as “communicating with a child” under TPR statute

February 27, 2015

Dane County DHS v. Hershula B., 2014AP2076, 2/26/15, District 4  (one-judge opinion, ineligible for publication); click here for docket Hershula appealed an order terminating her parental rights. She argued that the trial court erred in directing a verdict on the abandonment issue because she presented evidence that she had communicated […]

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SCOTUS limits the “tangible objects” covered by 18 U.S.C. 1519’s evidence destruction prohibition

February 25, 2015

Yates v. United States, USSC No. 13-7451, 2015 WL 773330 (February 25, 2015); reversing 733 F.3d 1059 (11th Cir. 2013); Scotusblog page In a four-one-four decision that is chock-a-block with nautical references and features some sparring about the canons and methods of statutory interpretation, the Supreme Court holds that the “anti-shredding provision” of […]

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Officer’s statement about authority to search car didn’t taint driver’s consent to search of his person

February 25, 2015

State v. David M. Wagner, 2014AP842-CR, District 2, 2/25/15 (one-judge decision; ineligible for publication); case activity (including briefs) Wagner voluntarily consented to a search of his person, and was not merely “[a]cquiesc[ing] to an unlawful assertion of police authority,” State v. Johnson, 2007 WI 32, 16, 299 Wis. 2d 675, 729 N.W.2d […]

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“Statutes need to be complied with,” and failure to comply with § 55.10(2) deprived circuit court of competency to proceed

February 25, 2015

Sheboygan County v. Christopher A.G., 2014AP2489, District 2, 2/25/15 (one-judge decision; ineligible for publication); case activity The circuit court erred in holding a due process hearing on Christopher’s protective placement without Christopher’s physical presence and without the guardian ad litem (GAL) waiving his attendance in writing prior to the hearing as […]

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Court of appeals affirms plea though defendant misunderstood appellate rights; trips over law governing plea withdrawal and IAC

February 25, 2015

State v. Jeromy Miller, 2014AP1246-CR, 2/24/15, District 2 (not recommended for publication); click here for docket and briefs This decision smells like SCOW bait.  Miller pleaded guilty believing that he had the right to appeal the circuit court’s denial of his pre-trial motion to dismiss. Both the court and defense […]

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Performance not deficient where counsel promised defendant would testify but didn’t call him

February 25, 2015

State v. Beal, 2014AP1362, 2/24/15, District 1 (not recommended for publication); click here for briefs and docket During his opening, defense counsel told the jury that Beal would testify to a version of events that contradicted the State’s version, but then he broke that promise. Beal claimed ineffective assistance of […]

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Instructing jury on permissive presumption of OWI was A-ok

February 25, 2015

County of Taylor v. Dean T. Woyak, 2104AP1463, 2/24/15, District 3 (one-judge opinion, ineligible for publication); click here for briefs Woyak was convicted of OWI and PAC. He had driven into a ditch and was discovered with beer cans littering his car. He claimed that he drank the alcohol that […]

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