Latest Wisconsin headlines

Posted Saturday, July 20, 2013 --- 4:19 a.m.


Jury: Wis. man sane when he killed teen neighbor

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- A jury says a Milwaukee man who fatally shot his teenage neighbor whom he suspected of burglary was not insane when he pulled the trigger.

The same jury convicted 76-year-old John Henry Spooner on Wednesday of first-degree intentional homicide. That verdict led to a second phase of the trial in which jurors were asked to determine whether he was mentally ill at the time.

They agreed Friday that he was sane when he killed 13-year-old Darius Simmons.

Two doctors testified that Spooner's anger issues and aggressive impulses didn't constitute a mental defect.

Spooner has said he killed Darius because he thought the boy had broken into his home and stolen $3,000 worth of guns. Police searched Darius' home and didn't find the weapons.

Spooner now faces a mandatory life sentence.


Wis. man accused of trying to burn wife pleads

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A Madison man accused of trying to set his wife on fire has entered a plea agreement.

Sixty-year-old Andrew Spear pleaded guilty Friday to misdemeanor counts of battery, disorderly conduct and criminal damage to property.

In return for Spear's plea, two felony charges, including first-degree attempted homicide and false imprisonment, were dismissed.

The Wisconsin State Journal reports Spear was facing eight counts for a 2012 attack on his wife, Mary Spear.

Andrew Spear was accused of taking his wife to a storage locker where he had his wood shop and then pouring gasoline on her and igniting it with a lighter. She was not seriously hurt.

Sentencing is set for September 13th.


3 suspected heat-related deaths in Milwaukee

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Milwaukee authorities are investigating three suspected heat-related deaths as a heat wave broils the city.

The Milwaukee County medical examiner's office says two of the victims are men, ages 71 and 79. Their bodies were found in separate houses Friday.

In both those cases, the medical examiner says the houses were sealed with no fans on and no air conditioning in the house.

The other victim is a 44-year-old man. He was found unresponsive in an alley Wednesday evening and pronounced dead in an intensive-care unit Thursday.

The Milwaukee Health Department is reminding people to take care of each other during the hot weather.

The National Weather Service says Milwaukee has recorded four consecutive days of highs in the mid-90s. The heat index has been more than 100 degrees.


Autopsy shows Wis. toddler died from heat

BALSAM LAKE, Wis. (AP) -- Authorities say a Wisconsin toddler found dead in the trunk of a car likely died of hyperthermia.

The Polk County Sheriff's Department released a statement Friday afternoon summarizing preliminary results of an autopsy on 2-year-old Isaiah Theis. The autopsy found the boy was normally developed and well-nourished and had suffered no life-threatening injuries or bone fractures. He also wasn't sick.

The statement listed the cause of death as probable hyperthermia, a condition where body temperature spikes. The manner of death is still under investigation.

Toxicology reports are pending.

The boy disappeared Tuesday night. A sheriff's deputy found his body in the trunk of a locked car outside the boy's home near Centuria late Wednesday evening after a day of blistering heat.


Packers sign Burnett to contract extension

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) -- The Green Bay Packers signed safety Morgan Burnett to a contract extension Friday.

Terms of the deal weren't disclosed.

Burnett, a third-round pick from Georgia Tech in 2010, has started all 36 games in which he has appeared in three seasons with the team. He has 259 tackles, 28 passes defensed, six interceptions, four forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries and three sacks.

The Packers also released wide receiver Terrell Sinkfield, a rookie from Northern Iowa who was originally signed as an undrafted free agent by Miami.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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