355 Austin Circle, Suite 110, Delafield, WI 53018
Facebook Twitter Linkedin


Bucher Law Group, LLC

Update: Teenager Sentenced to 20 Years in Prison Highlights Questions About Juvenile Crime in Wisconsin

Posted on in Criminal Defense

Walworth Criminal Defense LawyerLast year, a 17-year-old resident of Manitowoc was sentenced to 20 years in prison after pleading guilty to reckless homicide related to the death of his 7-year-old foster brother in 2018. According to court documents, the defendant said he was following instructions from his own parents in enforcing the 7-year-old’s punishment for failing to properly memorize Bible verses. The defendant is now 18 years old and serving his sentence, and his appeals are ongoing.

One of the side consequences of his ongoing appeals, however, is the delay of his father’s trial. The conicted boy’s father is facing charges for felony murder, child abuse, and more after he allegedly ordered his son to punish the younger boy. The son is not able to testify in the father’s case due to pending and ongoing appeals, so there has not yet been a trial date set. In the meantime, the father has been out of jail on $75,000 cash bond since late May of this year.

Part of the concern for the father’s trial is in regard to evidence from related juvenile cases. Juvenile records in Wisconsin are generally sealed and unavailable to the public in adult court cases. Hearings have been ongoing to determine what evidence, if any, from those cases will be allowed in the upcoming trial. Local legal sources suspect that the man’s trial will not be held until sometime in 2023 at the earliest.

When we think about criminal defendants, we usually picture an adult. However, some criminal defendants are still school-aged. One 17-year-old Manitowoc County resident is facing two decades in prison for a crime that he allegedly committed when he was just 14 years old. The case has brought up many questions regarding juvenile criminal charges and punishments for minors.

Teen Allegedly Killed 7-Year-Old Relative by Burying Him in the Snow  

According to the complaint against him, the teen was just 14 years old when he was allegedly tasked with carrying out a punishment involving his 7-year-old relative. The prosecution reports that, per the parents’ instructions, the young boy was forced to carry a large log around the backyard as punishment for not memorizing Bible verses. The 14-year-old sentenced with the boy’s death allegedly struck, kicked, and taunted the boy as he carried out the punishment. The complaint also states that he buried the 7-year-old in packed snow and left him there for 20-30 minutes. The medical examiner found that the boy had suffered from hypothermia as well as several blunt force injuries before he died. The now-17-year-old has been convicted of first-degree reckless homicide. The teenager’s parents have also been charged because of their role in the young child’s death.

Should Juveniles Be Sentenced as Adults?

The entire situation is disturbing and heartbreaking. It also brings to light questions about Wisconsin juvenile law. Presently, any defendant over 10 years old charged with homicide can be charged in adult court in Wisconsin. Some believe that this rule unfairly punishes children who are not old enough to know what they are doing. Others believe that homicide should always be charged as an adult crime.

Contact a Waukesha County Juvenile Defense Lawyer

Minors accused of violent crimes in Wisconsin can face life-changing consequences including decades behind bars. If your child has been accused of assault, battery, theft, sexual assault, internet crimes, drug possession, or another criminal offense, contact a Waukesha County criminal defense attorney right away. At Bucher Law Group, LLC, we understand that children make mistakes, and we believe that they deserve a second chance. Most juvenile offenders need rehabilitation, not severe punishments. We recognize the importance of getting your child's case back to the juvenile court system and fighting for their freedom.

If your child has been charged with a criminal offense, do not let police interrogate him or her without a strong lawyer on your side. Call Bucher Law Group, LLC, at 262-303-4916 for a free, confidential consultation.







AVVO SuperLawyers BBB Thervo 2017 Martindale Hubbel City Voter List Criminal Defense Blog
Back to Top