SHELL LAKE, Wis. -- Doug Nitek, the man charged with allegedly shooting and killing Rusk County Deputy Dan Glaze in October 2016, was transported to the Washburn County Courthouse today, August 11, 2017, for a motion hearing to decide if the Jury Trial on his case should be held in a county other than Rusk County.
On June 26, 2016, a Motion for Change of Venue was filed by Nitek's defense attorneys. The State filed a Brief in Opposition to this Motion on July 14, 2017, according to public record.
The Honorable Eugene D. Harrington, Washburn County Circuit Court Judge, is presiding over Nitek's case. Public record indicates that on July 27, 2017, Judge Harrington's office advised all parties to the case that the Change of Venue Motion Hearing would be held at Washburn County Courthouse, rather than at the Barron County Justice Center where it was originally scheduled to be held.
The Court heard arguments from both the State and Defense at today's Change of Venue Motion Hearing.
Nitek's defense counsel argued that due to the size of the community in Rusk County and the media coverage of this case, it will not be possible to compile an impartial Jury panel.
The Prosecuting Attorney for the State presented an opposing argument that the Jury Trial should proceed in Rusk County because the media coverage of this case consisted of factual stories about the charges filed in Circuit Court against Nitek and not inflammatory stories attacking Nitek. The State also argued that a large portion of the media coverage about the death of Deputy Dan Glaze was in reference to fundraisers for his family.
The Court denied Nitek's Motion for Change of Venue. The Court then addressed the issue of potential security concerns regarding the courthouse facility in Rusk County. After some deliberation and discussion between the Rusk County Sheriff and the State's Prosecuting Attorney, the State addressed the Court and stated that all security concerns for the potential jurors, attorneys, the public, and Nitek can be sufficiently addressed by the Rusk County Sheriff's Department.
The Court ordered that as of today's date, the Jury Trial for Nitek will be held in Rusk County. A questionnaire will be prepared and sent out to potential jurors to aid in compiling a jury pool. It was ordered by the Court that retired law enforcement and individuals who know too much about the case will be excluded from serving on the jury.
It was also clarified by the Court that the 10-Day Jury Trial remains on the Court Calendar for December 2017 unless circumstances arise that should cause the trial date to be rescheduled. If that should happen, the Court will address that issue at a later date.
Nitek is charged with 31 criminal counts following the October incident which resulted in Deputy Dan Glaze's death including 1st Degree Intentional Homicide, along with 2 counts of Attempted 1st Degree Intentional Homicide against two more deputies who were on scene during that incident.
Additionally, Nitek is charged with 17 Counts of 1st Degree Reckless Endangering Safety While Armed with a Dangerous Weapon for his actions against other officers who assisted during the situation. Nitek also faces charges of Possession of a Firearm as a Convicted Felon, Possession of Methamphetamine, Possession of Marijuana, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Criminal Damage to Property While Armed with a Dangerous Weapon, and Felony Bail Jumping While Armed with a Dangerous Weapon.
Deputy Dan Glaze was the first officer to arrive on the scene on October 29, 2016, and although he called for back-up almost immediately, by the time other officers arrived, Deputy Glaze had already suffered gunshot wounds.
Law enforcement from Barron County, Chippewa County, Washburn County and Eau Claire County as well from the Wisconsin Division of Criminal Investigation all assisted with the incident and the subsequent investigation.
The Wisconsin State Patrol's Technical Reconstruction Unit later mapped out the entire scene and this team was able to map out the trajectory of the majority of the gunshots fired by Nitek.
Bullet fragments were recovered from inside Deputy Glaze's squad car and analyzed by the Wisconsin State Crime Laboratory; the results of which tests confirmed that these bullets were a match to the rifle identified as belonging to Nitek.
Nitek is scheduled to appear again in November for a Final Pre-Trial Hearing on his case.
Public record shows that Nitek has another open criminal case in Sawyer County filed in July 2016, charging him with Class F Felony 1st Degree Recklessly Endangering Safety, Misdemeanor Resisting or Obstructing and Officer, Misdemeanor Criminal Damage to Property, and Misdemeanor Ignition Interlock Device Tampering/Failure to Install. The Hon. John M. Yackel is presiding over that case.
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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