Bullets were found in a toilet along with a syringe with the DNA of accused murderer Jesse Ray Lloyd, prosecutors said Thursday.
“So there is a direct link between (the) bullets and Mr. Lloyd,” Chippewa County District Attorney Wade Newell said during a motions hearing Thursday.
Lloyd, 22, currently of the Waupun Correctional Institution, is charged with the first degree intentional homicide in March 2016 of Kenneth Patterson in the town of Eagle Point. Lloyd is also charged with possession of a firearm by a felon and armed robbery with use of force.
Another man, Matthew L. Labrec, 22, was sentenced in May to 20 years in prison in Patterson’s death. He pleaded guilty to armed robbery-use of force and possession of a firearm by a felon. A charge of first degree intentional homicide against Labrec was read into the court record and dismissed.
Lloyd’s attorney, Aaron A. Nelson, said that a confidential informant said “Matthew Labrec is bragging about getting away with murder while in prison.” Nelson said he will file a motion to find the name of the confidential informant.
Nelson said about 50 hours before Patterson was killed, Lloyd, Labrec and a third person visited a store to buy ammunition.
Labrec has agreed to testify against Lloyd at Lloyd’s jury trial scheduled to start Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018. Labrec claims he did not shoot Patterson, but that Lloyd did. While sentencing Labrec in May, Judge Steven Cray noted about Labrec: “The fact you did not shoot Mr. Patterson was not for lack of trying.” Cray noted a piece of a rifle Labrec was holding fell off.
Nelson said prosecutors are claiming a syringe was in a bag found in a toilet at a residence where Lloyd was arrested.
Newell said .380 bullets were also found in the toilet. Newell said the prosecution is now in the process of matching fired rounds found at the murder scene and in a tree, and the bullets found at the residence where Lloyd was when Lloyd was arrested. “It links to why the syringe is relevant,” Newell said.
Nelson argued the syringe found in the toilet should referred to as an item during the trial, saying the term would be prejudicial when drug use is not relevant in the murder trial.
“I’m going to call it a syringe because it is a syringe,” Newell said. He said drug use has context in the murder case. “They went to get meth after the alleged homicide,” Newell said.
Judge Isaacson agreed not to have the word syringe used, but that Nelson had to come up with a better term than personal item to describe the syringe.
Nelson said the prosecution needs to give him a list of expert witnesses prosecutors expect to call, something that has not been done. “Right now, we’re just chasing ghosts,” Nelson said.
Nelson was also concerned about the public seeing Lloyd wearing prison garb for Thursday’s appearance, worried the sight would “taint” the jury. Lloyd wore a green jump suit with a dark brown t-shirt, along with orange slippers. Lloyd was also handcuffed.
Isaacson requested the media present for the motions hearing minimize their coverage of what Lloyd was wearing, and said in future court appearances that Lloyd can appear wearing street clothes the jail feels are secure.
Another hearing to hear motions in the case will take place later in December.
HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital welcomed a new president and CEO on Monday – but Charisse Oland isn’t a new face for many employees.
“It was a bit of divine intervention,” Oland said. “I wasn’t expecting to come back… When I call it a homecoming, it really is.”
In 2010, Oland worked for HSHS St. Joseph’s as its regional director of strategy and business development. Next, she moved north to Holcombe and served as CEO of Rusk County Memorial Hospital in Ladysmith for five years. But in August, she received a phone call from HSHS St. Joseph Hospital’s then-CEO, Joan Coffman, who asked Oland if she’d be interested in moving back to Chippewa Falls.
The request was completely unexpected, Oland said: “You could have blown me over with a feather, but it was the right time and the right place.”
Coffman has since moved to HSHS St. Mary’s Hospital in Decatur, Ill.
Oland is entering the Chippewa Falls hospital system at a busy time for the city. In early November, Hewlett Packard Enterprises announced a future move of some manufacturing operations to Chippewa Falls, potentially invigorating the job market. Also in November, the L.E. Phillips Libertas treatment center—an affiliate of HSHS St. Joseph’s – announced its partnership with the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, a nationally renowned addiction treatment network.
“This is a perfect time to return (to Chippewa Falls)… as communities go through growth spurts, that’s the opportunity to be engaged with economic development,” Oland said. “Instead of standing back and watching it, we need to participate in the growth, and that’ll make all boats rise with the tide.”
How does HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital plan to make those boats rise?
Hospitals all over the nation need entry-level caregivers, Oland said, and that is no different in Chippewa Falls.
“We always deal with nursing shortages, that’s pretty well known,” she said. “But at this moment in time, with economic growth, entry-level workers that don’t need a specialized degree can find employment... anywhere. Finding those people can be a challenge.”
Emphasizing the hospital’s local roots is also a priority, Oland believes she can improve emergency care for local patients – especially with the hospital’s level-three trauma care center.
“To the best of the organization’s ability, we’ll be able to keep many more people locally… instead of being served in a larger city,” she said. “No one wants to travel two hours to see their loved one if they’re going to need extensive or long-term care. We know people heal faster and better when they’re surrounded by people they love.”
Moving back to Chippewa Falls will help Oland re-integrate into the community she now serves: “You grow where you’re planted,” she said. “The revitalization of downtown (Chippewa Falls) is awesome. I’m proud to bring people in here. I say, ‘Let me show you the next great place to be.’”
Oland’s hiring as president and CEO of HSHS St. Joseph’s hospital was announced in October, and she began Monday, Nov. 27. She will retain some responsibilities at HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital in Eau Claire.
A Chippewa Falls man is charged with first degree reckless homicide in the Nov. 22 drug overdose death of Nicholas J. Buck in Chippewa Falls.
Shane Paul Johnson, 40, 16056 50th Ave., is also charged with manufacture/deliver heroin, possession with intent to deliver THC (marijuana). methamphetamine, heroin, cocaine, and non-narcotics, with all possession charges being second offenses.
Johnson is also charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, maintaining a drug trafficking place, and two counts of possession of a firearm by a felon.
A woman, April Jude Lonetree, is also charged in connection with the overdose death. Lonetree, 38, no address listed in court records, is charged with: possession of methamphetamine; maintaining a drug trafficking place; possession of a controlled substance; possess an illegally obtained prescription; two counts of child neglect; and obstructing an officer.
According to criminal complaints:
Chippewa Falls Police were called to 1204 Warren St. at 7:24 p.m. Nov. 22 where a woman reported her friend, Buck, 40, had died from an apparent drug overdose. An injection site was found on near the center of Buck’s left bicep.
A police officer was told that Shane P. Johnson may have been involved. Numerous drugs were found around the residence.
Buck’s cell phone showed he had a contact by the name of “OMACK.” One message asked if OMACK had a second point, a reference a dosage unit for heroin. OMACK responded he “just got a bunch.”
Shane P. Johnson’s vehicle was stopped and he was arrested. In the vehicle was Johnson’s girlfriend, April J. Lonetree.
A search warrant was used to search Johnson’s residence. Numerous drugs and paraphernalia was found, along with a Walter 9MM PPK pistol and 16 rounds of ammunition.
Lonetree denied knowing there was drug activity at Shane Johnson’s residence.