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State v. Manuel Garcia, 2018AP2319-CR, District 2, 10/7/20 (recommended for publication); case activity (including briefs)

Even if a court suppresses a defendant’s voluntary statement because it was obtained in violation of Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436 (1966), the state may use the statement to impeach the defendant if he or she elects to testify. Harris v. New York, 401 U.S. 222 (1971); James v. Illinois, 493 U.S. 307 (1990). The issue in this case is whether this “impeachment exception” allows the state to use the defendant’s statement  to “rehabilitate” one of its witnesses. The court of appeals holds it does not: the state may use an illegally obtained statement only to impeach the defendant’s testimony. Read more

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State v. Pedro R. Mendoza, III, 2018AP2325-Cr,10/6/20,  District 1 (not recommended for publication); case activity (including briefs)

A jury convicted Mendoza of 1st degree recklessly endangering safety and 1st degree endangering safety when he shot into a car occupied by H.V. and M.M.C. Mendoza claimed his trial counsel was ineffective for failing to: (1) seek exclusion of his history with the Latin Kings, (2) seek admission of evidence that H.V. and M.M.C. had previously intimidated witnesses and conspired to falsify testimony; and (3) introduce expert testimony regarding his PTSD to help show that he shot in self-defense. The circuit court ordered a Machner hearing, but denied relief. The court of appeals issued a rare reversal on all 3 ineffective assistance of counsel claims and remanded the case for a new trial. Read more

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State v. Chanler Lee Guyton, 2019AP1409-CR, District 3, 10/6/20 (not recommended for publication); case activity (including briefs)

Guyton told a social worker for a county social services agency that she and four of her colleagues had violated his rights in a CHIPS proceeding regarding his son. He said he would deal with the matter “with my own hands” and things were “going to turn very tragic” because he would come to their office armed. (¶6). The court of appeals rejects his claim this was insufficient to prove the elements of witness intimidation under § 940.201(2)(a). Read more

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State v. Sarah J. Katula-Talle, 2019AP1622-CR, District 3, 10/6/20 (one-judge decision; ineligible for publication); case activity (including briefs)

A police officer had contact with Katula-Talle while responding to a domestic disturbance call. The department’s standard procedure in those situations is to run a driver’s license and warrant check on everyone the officers have contact with. The check on Katula-Talle showed she was revoked for an OWI-related offense. Two weeks later the officer saw her driving and stopped her on suspicion she was operating after revocation. (¶¶3-5). Was the two-week-old check enough to justify the stop, or was it only enough to give the officer a hunch? Read more

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Portage County v. E.R.R., 2020AP870-FT, District 4, 10/1/20 (one-judge decision; ineligible for publication); case activity

As the supreme court recently emphasized, at a proceeding to extend a ch. 51 commitment, proving dangerousness under § 51.20(1)(am) requires evidence establishing that the person is likely to be dangerous under one of the specific standards in § 51.20(1)(a)2. if treatment is withdrawn. Langlade County v. D.J.W., 2020 WI 41, ¶40, 391 Wis. 2d 231, 942 N.W.2d 277. There was not enough evidence in this case to prove E.R.R. was dangerous under one of those standards. Read more

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September 2020 publication list

On September 30, 2020, the court of appeals ordered publication of the following criminal law related decisions: Read more

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State v. Jacob Richard Beyer, 2019AP1983, 9/24/20, District 4; case activity (including briefs)

Wisconsin courts apply a robust guilty-plea waiver rule: in general, a plea will block a defendant from appealing any issue litigated before the plea. There is one important statutory exception: Wis. Stat. § 971.31(10) entitles a defendant to appeal the denial of a motion to suppress evidence or a motion to exclude his or her own statements, guilty plea or no. But other matters that may have arisen–pre-trial evidentiary decisions, fights over discovery, etc.–are typically not reviewable unless the defendant insists on a trial. Read more

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State v. Synika Antonio Kirk, 2019AP175, 9/22/20, District 3 (not recommended for publication); case activity (including briefs)

You know, those semis that carry like 6 or 10 cars. Kirk owned a 1989 Jaguar that was riding on such a vehicle along with several other cars. A Kansas trooper pulled the truck over and asked to inspect the driver’s paperwork. The trooper would testify that the driver’s logbook had an entry he found strange: a two-day stay in Reno, Nevada after the truck was loaded–a stop the trooper called “not normal.” He also didn’t buy the driver’s explanation that he had spent those two days trying to find tires for his truck. Read more

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