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Wisconsin roundup: Rebuffed by courts, Walker calls special elections; more state news stories

Gov. Scott Walker has changed his mind and called special elections for two vacant legislative seats Thursday morning.

MADISON — Gov. Scott Walker has changed his mind and called special elections for two vacant legislative seats Thursday morning.

Walker's office announced he decided not to appeal to the Wisconsin Supreme Court a judge's denial of his request for eight more days. He said in a news release the special elections for 1st Senate District and the 42nd Assembly District will be June 12. If necessary, primaries will be May 15.


Woman killed in fall at Devil’s Lake State Park

BARABOO — Witnesses tell Sauk County investigators a 22-year-old Chicago woman was rope-climbing at Devil's Lake State Park when she fell to her death.

A 911 caller reported Savannah Buik wasn't breathing and didn't have a pulse after she fell on the park's East Bluff side. Buik was an experienced climber. The Baraboo Fire Department and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources responded to the incident call shortly before 4 p.m. Wednesday. The investigation is ongoing.


Plea agreement reached in sexual assault case

EAU CLAIRE — An Eau Claire fast-food worker will do community service and be on probation for three years as part of a plea agreement.

Charles Purnell had been accused of groping a co-worker twice a week for a year. He told police the sexual contact was consensual. The victim says he said he needed to warm up his hands when he squeezed her backside. She said he also showed her child pornography videos on his cell phone. Purnell pleaded guilty to two counts of fourth-degree sexual assault and the child porn charge was dropped.


Electric grinder, ax allegedly used in assault on woman

MANITOWOC — Police took a 48-year-old assault suspect into custody after a brief struggle Wednesday night.

A woman told Manitowoc officers her boyfriend strangled her, punched her and held an axe to her neck, causing a cut, adding he made more cuts to her ankles using an electric grinder. Police say they had to use an electronic control device and pepper spray to control the man. No names have been released and the 48-year-old woman is expected to survive.

The man is being held in the Manitowoc County Jail on charges of false imprisonment, recklessly endangering safety, resisting an officer, felony bail jumping and a probation hold.


Police attacked by drug suspect

LA CROSSE — Police say a suspect drug pipe fell to the ground when a 38-year-old man got out of his vehicle during a traffic stop early Tuesday.

Daniel Lexvold is accused of attacking and injuring a La Crosse police officer. Lexvold had been shot by officers in December 2016 during another encounter but went free when his competency was questioned. He had regained competency and had his trial date pending when the latest incident happened. He's being held in the La Crosse County Jail.


Man charged in double murder at dice game

MILWAUKEE — A 44-year-old Milwaukee man faces four felony charges in a double-murder on the city's north side.

Investigators say Antonio Mays shot two men to death March 15. Mays initially told police the two approached him and he was shot when he died to run away. Mays was treated for three gunshot wounds — two in the back and one in his forehead. Witnesses told a different story. They say a relative of Mays lost money in a dice game and a few minutes later Mays came in and started shooting. Thirty-four-year-old Romale Richardson and 20-year-old Malyk Smith were killed.


Sawyer County authorities hold man for allegedly stabbing his father

HAYWARD — Deputies with the Sawyer County Sheriff's Department say a 20-year-old man is being held for allegedly stabbing his father.

Gary W. Butler III was arrested Wednesday morning. Deputies had been called to a home in Sand Lake where they found 38-year-old Gary Butler Jr. with stab wounds to his chest and hand. He was taken to a Duluth hospital for treatment. The younger man is facing a charge of attempted first-degree intentional homicide. His father's medical condition hasn't been released.


Overdose case draws 17-year prison sentence

GREEN BAY — A New London man is going to federal prison for 17 years for supplying the drugs which caused the overdose death of a relative.

Twenty-seven-year-old Tyler Kuhnke made an appearance in a United States federal courtroom in Green Bay Monday. He traveled with Johnathon Ernst to Oshkosh to buy heroin. That heroin was laced with fentanyl and Ernst died last June. Kuhnke had given drugs to the same victim the year before, causing a non-fatal overdose.