March 30, 2008

Even a hayseed like me

Maybe Burnett County conservative Republican Mike Gableman wouldn't want to answer questions about his salad days as a prosecutor in Ashland County after all.

Because according to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel's Dan Bice, crimefighting superhero Gableman sat on a homicide case for two years, apparently because he didn't know what to do with it.

The initial investigation should have given him at least some idea what to do with it. The criminal complaint says John Wirner shot his wife in the back with a 20-ga. shotgun as she was running away from him down a boardwalk at their home. Wirner claimed he shot her in the back by accident, shortly after he returned from blowing away a squirrel and a woodpecker from his bird feeder in February, 1999.

Wirner, it seems, had also been involved in an extra-marital affair for a number of years immediately prior to the shotgun blasts.

Except investigators determined that Wirner's accident tale didn't add up, and it couldn't have happened the way he described it. Wirner wasn't charged until 2002, after Gableman had accepted another job and a 20K salary cut. Maybe that's how much it was worth to escape the pressures of being a crimefighting superhero.

Gableman's successor, on the other hand, jumped on the file and charged Wirner with first-degree homicide, but not until October, 2002. That same month, Wirner died, apparently by his own hand.

But Gableman tells us practically constantly that he was all about bringing criminals to justice. Looks like he could have put the long arm on John R. Wirner, but didn't. Wirner had to do it himself.

Could be a hectic couple of days for Gableman, starting now.

Cory Liebmann has more, and addresses the credibility of Gableman's incessant self-promotion as having had "worked shoulder to shoulder with victims of crime":

Gableman murder case went nowhere.

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