CLICK HERE to Read the Letter" /> CLICK HERE to Read the Letter" />
NBC15 WMTV | Madison, WI | News

UPDATE: Display Removed

By: Zac Schultz Email
By: Zac Schultz Email

Posted Friday --- December 7, 2007 -- 11:30am

The Dane County Deputy Sheriff's Association says a display that a grieving family says honored the man who killed their loved ones has been removed. (See Letter The Dane County Deputy Sheriff's Association)

The Dane County Sheriff's Department's annual Blue Light Project display remembered former deputies who passed away this year.

Included on the list is former Sergeant Mark Hamele-who died this May after driving drunk and causing an accident that killed 3 people.

Karri Maier and her children Samantha and Brian were killed. The driver-Karri's fiance-was seriously injured.

The family of the victims said it was an insult to honor him this holiday season.

On Friday the Dane County Deputy Sheriff's Association said the display will be removed out of respect for the Maier family.

Janet Van Epps, the aunt of Karri Maier, says they never wanted the entire display removed. They only wanted Hamele's name removed. She says they feel bad for the others on the display.

Post Your Own COMMENTS Below

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Posted Thursday --- December 6, 2007 -- 4:19pm

Madison: A local family is furious with the Dane County Sheriff's Department for honoring a former Sergeant in their annual Blue Light Project.

That former Sergeant is Mark Hamele-who died this May after driving drunk and causing an accident that killed three people.

The family of the victims says it is an insult to honor him this holiday season.

The crash happened May 5th on Highway 51 in Columbia County.

A vehicle driven by Mark Hamele crossed the center line and hit another vehicle containing four people.

Karri Maier and her children Samantha and Brian were killed. The driver-Karri's fiance-was seriously injured.

The crash happened at 2:00 in the afternoon. Hamele was drunk -- his blood alcohol level was .288 - three times the legal limit. Published reports say police found a loaded handgun and a bottle of alcohol in Hamele's truck.

"We had forwarded the case to the D.A.'s office for three counts of vehicular homicide by intoxicated use of a motor vehicle. That would be for the three deaths he caused by his drunken driving," said Lt. Roger Brandner, with the Columbia County Sheriff's Department.

The District Attorney was prepared to charge Hamele with 8 felonies, but he died in the hospital later that month.

Fast forward to this week, when the Dane County Sheriff's Department announced their Project Blue Light campaign. It asks the public to honor those killed in the line of duty with a blue light or ribbon, but the Sheriff's Office also remembers all former employees who passed away that year. Hamele was a Sgt. for 15 years-retiring in 1986.

The family of Karri Maier has asked the Sheriff to remove Hamele's name. Jane Kaiser is Karri's mother. She is "appalled" Hamele is on the display.

They would not go on camera, saying they couldn't get through an interview, but Janet Van Epps (Karri's aunt) sent a statement saying
"I would tell anyone who displays a blue ribbon on their antenna (they are) supporting a murderer."

The Sheriff's Department would not go on camera for this story, but spokesperson Elise Schaffer says the decision to include Hamele's name on the list is "purely a decision by the Sheriff (Dave Mahoney)" and that he doesn't pick and choose who is on the list and is not going to remove Hamele's name.

The Project Blue Light display will up through the holidays.

Meanwhile, two surviving members of the Maier family are suing Mark Hamele's estate for $2 million each.

Post Your Own COMMENTS Below


Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
powered by Disqus
NBC15 615 Forward Drive Madison, Wisconsin 53711 Business: 608-274-1515 Newsroom: 608-274-1500
Gray Television, Inc. - Copyright © 2002-2014 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 12211441