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  • WisBar News
    February
    28
    2014

    Wisconsin Supreme Court Accepts Three New Criminal Cases

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    Feb. 28, 2014 – The Wisconsin Supreme Court has added three criminal cases to its docket, including one to examine whether statements made by Rapheal Myrick at his co-defendant’s preliminary exam were admissible in the murder case against Myrick.

    In the preliminary exam against Justin Winston, Myrick said he fired shots at the murder victim and missed. He said Winston was the one who actually killed the victim.

    The state had made a deal with Myrick to cooperate in the case against Winston, but Myrick later stopped cooperating. The state then proceeded against Myrick and obtained a conviction for first-degree homicide as a party to the crime. The prosecutor read Myrick’s preliminary exam testimony against Winston to the jury.

    The court of appeals reversed in State v. Myrick (see “Preliminary Exam Testimony Not Allowed, Murder Conviction Reversed,” WisBar, Sept. 5, 2013). Under evidence rules, Myrick’s testimony against Winston was inadmissible against Myrick, the court ruled.

    Wis. Stat. section 904.10 says, in relevant part, “[e]vidence of … an offer to the court or prosecuting attorney to plead guilty or no contest to the crime charged or any other crime … is not admissible in any civil or criminal proceeding against the person who made the plea or offer.” The rule also says “evidence of statements made in court or to the prosecuting attorney in connection with” any offers is not admissible.

    The appeals court ruled that Myrick’s preliminary exam testimony against Winston was “in connection” with his offer to the prosecutor. Now the supreme court will decide.

    Other Cases

    In State v. Andres Romero-Geogana (2012AP55), the supreme court will examine whether a sexual assault defendant’s postconviction counsel was ineffective.

    The defendant claims the lawyer should have raised a plea withdrawal claim based on the circuit court’s failure to orally advise the defendant about the deportation consequences of his no-contest plea, rather than challenge the sentencing decision.

    In State v. Anderson (2011AP1467), the supreme court will examine the appellate court’s power to grant a new insanity phase trial on the ground that an allegedly harmless error in a jury instruction prevented the real controversy from being fully tried.

    Brief summaries derived from full summaries posted at www.wicourts.gov.