Court Accepts Plea of No Contest in Ladysmith Fatal Hit & Run

Tuesday, March 6, 2018 | by Ben Dryden |

Michael S. Niles, of Ladysmith, WI has entered a plea of No Contest in a fatal hit & run case. Charges were filed against Niles after a motor vehicle crash on February 22, 2017, that resulted in the death of Joseph J. Hraban.

According to a press release issued by Rusk County, law enforcement officers responded to a report of a motor vehicle hit & run crash in the City of Ladysmith on February 22, 2018.

Joseph Hraban was lying next to his truck. He later succumbed to his injuries after being transported to the Rusk County Memorial Hospital.

A criminal complaint was filed against Niles in Rusk County Circuit Court on March 15, 2017, charging him with Class B Felony 1st Degree Reckless Homicide, and Class D Felony Hit and Run - Involve Death. At a preliminary examination hearing in May 2017, the Court found probable cause to bind the case against Niles over for trial. 

At the plea hearing held on March 5, 2018, Niles entered a plea of No Contest to an Amended Count 1 charging him with Class E Felony Hit and Run Resulting in Great Bodily Harm and Count 2 charging him with Class D Felony Hit and Run-Involve Death.

Niles is scheduled to be sentenced on his charges in May 2018. 


Driver Identified in Fatal Hit & Run in Ladysmith

Friday, February 24, 2017 | by Ben Dryden

Ladysmith man, Michael S. Niles, has been named as the driver of the suspect vehicle involved in the fatal Hit and Run crash that occurred on February 22, 2017, in Ladysmith, WI. Law enforcement issued the following updated press release a short time ago:

"On Wednesday, February 22, 2017, at approximately7:46 p.m. the Ladysmith Police Department and the Rusk County Sheriff’s Office responded to the 800 block of Lindoo Avenue East in the City of Ladysmith for a report of a motor vehicle hit and run crash with injuries.

Upon arrival at the scene, officers located the victim lying next to his truck, now identified as 57-year-old Joseph J Hraban from Ladysmith. Hraban was transported to Rusk County Memorial Hospital. Hraban later succumbed to his injuries.

42-year-old Michael S. Niles of Ladysmith was arrested for Second Degree Reckless Homicide and Hit and Run Causing Death. Niles was identified as the driver of the suspect vehicle. A passenger, 52-year-old Steven M. Hibbard of Ladysmith was also arrested and booked into the Rusk County Jail.

The incident remains under investigation. The Rusk County Sheriff’s Office, Wisconsin State Patrol, and Rusk County Medical Examiner’s Office are also assisting in the investigation.

The case will be referred to the Rusk County District Attorney’s Office for formal charging."

Pursuant to the direction of the Wisconsin Supreme Court, as found in Supreme Court Rule 20:3.6, Trial Publicly, you are advised that a charge is merely an accusation and that a defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

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