BURNETT COUNTY -- The Court has sentenced a man on his convictions of battery to an elderly person and fleeing law enforcement in Burnett County.
DrydenWire.com reported in September 2018 that Cowan Bruss, of Webster, WI, was facing charges following an assault on an elderly person at Affordable Auto, located in Webster, WI.
Bruss was at Affordable Auto twice on September 20, 2018, asking about vehicles parked outside. After being informed that he would have to speak to the owner of the first vehicle and that the second vehicle was not for sale, Bruss allegedly became angry, stating “F--- you! Everything’s for sale!”. Bruss then went back outside the business, only to return for a third time with a black billy club.
The 72-year-old victim of the attack by Bruss sustained injuries while blocking the blows, including a swollen and bruised right hand, a red and swollen area near his right temple, and a red area around his right knee, according to a criminal complaint filed against Bruss.
Law Enforcement was called, and Bruss left the area in his vehicle, engaging in a pursuit at high speeds before driving his vehicle into a ditch, exiting the vehicle, and running into the woods. Bruss was ultimately located at a nearby property and taken into custody.
Charges of Class H Felony Aggravated Battery - Elderly Person, Class I Felony Attempting to Flee or Elude an Officer, Misdemeanor Disorderly Conduct, Misdemeanor Criminal Damage to Property, and Misdemeanor Resisting an Officer were filed against Bruss.
At a recent hearing, Bruss was sentenced on his convictions of Class H Felony Aggravated Battery - Elderly Person and Class I Felony Attempting to Flee or Elude an Officer.
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The remaining charges against Bruss were dismissed but read-in, including additional charges of Misdemeanor Domestic Disorderly Conduct, Misdemeanor Criminal Damage to Property, Misdemeanor Domestic Battery, Misdemeanor Take and Drive Vehicle Without Owner Consent, Felony Bail Jumping, and Misdemeanor Bail Jumping that were filed against Bruss in Burnett County in three separate cases. Details of those additional incidents are not known to DrydenWire.com.
At the sentencing hearing, the Burnett County District Attorney argued for a 6-year sentence on the conviction of battery to an elderly person with 3 years of initial confinement in state prison to be followed by 3 years of extended supervision, imposed and stayed; with 3 years of probation. For the conviction of fleeing an officer, the District Attorney argued for 1 year jail time with credit for time served.
Defense Counsel for Bruss spoke to the Court and argued for 2 years of probation with a withheld sentence and no additional jail time.
The Court ordered a 2 year withheld sentence for Bruss with Probation for his conviction of battery to an elderly person; and 2 years of probation with 1 year of jail time, imposed and stayed on his conviction of fleeing from law enforcement.
Conditions of probation will require Bruss to undergo a mental health evaluation and follow through with all recommendations as well as entering regular counseling. Bruss will also be prohibited from having any contact with victims of the cases filed against him, their property, or business. Bruss will also be required to maintain absolute sobriety and comply with regular testing; any positive tests for alcohol or drugs will result in Bruss serving a conditional 30-day jail term for each positive test.
One additional criminal case filed against Bruss in June of 2020 and charging him with Felony Bail Jump and Misdemeanor Resisting or Obstructing remains open and pending. Online circuit court records indicate that the Court will review that case at a hearing later in August 2020.
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.