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Appeals court upholds long sentence for man who shot at Hudson police

In a decision filed Tuesday, an appeals court refused to cut the prison sentence or nullify the plea agreement of a man convicted of three Wisconsin felonies following a shootout with Hudson police in August 2007.

On Aug. 24, 2007, a Friday, Daine Linderman, now 27, fired an assault weapon at several Hudson officers and fled into Minnesota where he was eventually captured after attempting to steal vehicles from two couples at their homes.

Linderman was convicted of numerous crimes in Minnesota federal court and three felonies -- two counts of first degree recklessly endangering safety and one count of vehicle operator fleeing officers -- in St. Croix County.

St. Croix Judge Eric Lundell ordered that Linderman serve his sentences for the Wisconsin crimes consecutive to his federal sentences. In his appeal Linderman claimed that violated his right to be free from double jeopardy, asked for credit for the time he will serve on the federal sentences and requested to withdraw his Wisconsin plea agreement.

According to background in the District III Court of Appeals decision, in October 2007 Linderman was charged in a 15-count complaint. All charges related to an attempt by Hudson police to serve an arrest warrant on Linderman, who was wanted for fleeing police and the scene of an accident on Coulee Road the previous night.

When officers arrived at a Hudson apartment, Linderman withdrew to a bedroom and, according to newspaper reports, officers heard him loading what turned out to be an AR-15 assault rifle.

The appeals court decision says Linderman announced, "I'm a felon with a gun, things are real f------ bad."

After police evacuated the building, Linderman escaped, smashing hallway lights and firing several shots directly at one officer. The appeals decision says he then drove off in an SUV, firing multiple shots at uniformed police officers ordering him to stop.

He drove west over the St. Croix River bridge and exited at Hwy. 95, headed north and crashed the SUV near the Bungalow Restaurant. He went to a nearby house and demanded the family's vehicle, but that couple escaped.

He then forced another couple into their garage and demanded their car, but that man knocked the rifle from Linderman's hands. Linderman pulled another gun from his waistband and shot the man in the lower back. The two men struggled until police arrived.

In May 2008, before the St. Croix County charges were resolved, Linderman reached a plea agreement with federal prosecutors for his crimes in Minnesota. He was convicted of attempted carjacking, using firearms in relation to a crime of violence and a felon in possession of firearms.

Later he reached an agreement with St. Croix County, pleading guilty to three felony counts. Two other felonies were dismissed.

In June 2008, Judge Lundell sentenced Linderman to 16.5 years in prison to run consecutive to the federal sentence.

In his appeal, Linderman maintained that his Wisconsin sentence was "a multiplicitous punishment" in violation of the double jeopardy protections of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

The appeals court ruled that his argument lacked merit because each of the crimes of which he was convicted was different.

"All of Linderman's offenses are distinguishable either legally or factually," wrote the court.

In his appeal, Linderman objected to "the fact that the punishment of the sentences are consecutive to each other for the very same activity and course of conduct."

But the appeals court found that a state is not prohibited from imposing a consecutive sentence. Also allowing a court to consider unrelated conduct as part of a review of a defendant's character does not amount to punishing the defendant twice for the same offense.

"We reject Linderman's repeated contention that he was sentenced in Minnesota for crimes in Wisconsin," wrote the appeals court. "Linderman was sentenced in Minnesota for his crimes in Minnesota."

Judy Wiff

Judy Wiff has been regional editor for RiverTown’s Wisconsin newspapers since 1996. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and sociology from UW-River Falls. She has worked as a reporter for several weekly newspapers in Wisconsin.