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Jury debates between strangulation or hanging

Crawford County Lt. Investigator Jaden McCullick displays evidence in the courtroom, the 2x2 “T” from the post that Jimmy McDaniel said Linda Kline used to hang herself. Attached to the “T” is the extension cord allegedly used as well. (Photo by Correne Martin)

Carl Wingren, a forensic pathologist who was hired by the defense to review Linda Kline’s autopsy report, pictures and medical records, demonstrates how Kline would have positioned herself for the partial suicidal hanging the defense claims happened in the case. Also pictured is Jimmy McDaniel’s co-counsel Vince Rust. (Photos by Correne Martin)

Forensic pathologist Dr. Michael Stier performed the autopsy on Linda Kline and believes with 100 percent certainty that this case involves a manual strangulation.

Trial expected to end Monday, maybe Tuesday

By Correne Martin

Blunt force trauma, manual strangulation and a staged scene? Or a partially-suspended, suicidal hanging?

What happened to Linda Kline on Oct. 4-5, 2016? Was she a depressed alcoholic who impulsively decided to take her own life? Or was she murdered by her boyfriend, then manipulated post-mortem to make her look like she’d hung herself by a household extension cord?

What will become of Jimmy McDaniel, her boyfriend and alleged assailant? He took the stand to testify in Crawford County Court Friday afternoon and again Monday. Judge Lynn Rider expects the trial to end today (Monday) or tomorrow.

Two different forensic pathologists—one who performed the autopsy on Kline’s body, and the other who didn’t personally examine her body, but was hired by the defense to review the case—testified, giving strongly opposing opinions about what happened.


Day one of murder trial depicts tumultuous relationship

Jimmy McDaniel (left) walks into the Crawford County second-floor courtroom at the beginning of his trial, in which he faces first-degree reckless homicide and strangulation charges. Also pictured is his legal team, Jeffrey Erickson (center) and Vince Rust. (Photos by Correne Martin)

Holly Little is a brother-in-law to Linda Kline, who lived with him and her sister, Michelle Little (who has since passed), in October 2016 when she died on the property. Holly Little was the first to testify in court Tuesday. He is shown here describing the layout of his backyard, where Kline was found dead.

McDaniel accused of first-degree reckless homicide, strangulation

By Correne Martin

Jimmy McDaniel and Linda Kline had a complicated relationship fueled by alcohol. Witnesses observed their constant fighting. But that doesn’t mean anyone else but the two of them knows exactly what happened Oct. 4 and 5, 2016, at her sister’s Bridgeport house where they were staying.

It is the job of a select Crawford County jury to determine whether or not the accused, McDaniel, 49, is guilty of first-degree reckless homicide and strangulation. 


Stop signs coming out on Dunn Street, school zone enacted near New Frontier

By Correne Martin

Two stop signs on the northeast side of Prairie du Chien were removed by city resolutions approved at Tuesday night’s council meeting. The two signs were located at Dousman Street at the intersection of Dunn Street, and on East Dunn Street at the intersection of South State Street. The removal was decided in order to improve traffic flow in those areas, as the city’s hospital is no longer located in that location.

Further housekeeping action was approved by the council regarding North and South Illinois Street. Until recently, drivers approaching Illinois Street from Park Street were unable to take a left or a right on Illinois. An ordinance amendment passed, which will now permit drivers to turn north on Illinois Street there.


One of two WWII veterans in Wauzeka Legion shares his memories

Bob Hazen is one of only two World War II veterans remaining on the Wauzeka American Legion. He enlisted in the Navy at the age of 17 and only served a few years but, at the age of 90, he’s still very proud of his service to this country.

By Correne Martin

Rather than being drafted, Bob Hazen signed up for the Navy in 1944. He was just 17 years old.

His brother George, the first ever Army soldier drafted from Crawford County, advised Bob in written correspondence to join the Navy.

“He said at least I’d have a warm bed and good food ‘til they blew up my ship,” he remembered.

Bob graduated from Wauzeka High School one night and was on the train the next morning, at 5 a.m., headed for Great Lakes Naval Station in Illinois. He endured only six weeks of training and then went off to California, where he boarded a Navy ship.

“I was scheduled to go to Okinawa (Japan) but, on the way over, [the U.S.] dropped the atomic bomb, ending the war. So I never went there,” he said.

Aboard the 1,500-man ship for the two-week trip overseas, Bob said he cooked for all the passengers three times a day.


Veterans Day programs set

The Monday, Nov. 6 Courier Press had two errors in Veterans Day observance dates and times. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused. What follows is a list of the correct dates and times for local observances, on and around Veterans Day.

Nov. 9
•Seneca Schools, 9 a.m.

Nov. 10
•Bluff View Intermediate School, 8:30 a.m.
•Prairie du Chien High School, 10 a.m.
•River Ridge High School, 10 a.m.
•Wauzeka-Steuben Schools, 10:30 a.m.
•Prairie Maison, 2 p.m.

Nov. 11
•PdC Honor Guard, firing at the Prairie du Chien Veterans Memorial, 11 a.m.
•Northeast Iowa Vietnam Veterans Association program, Strawberry Point civic center, 11 a.m.
•Crawford County Veterans Day program, Century Hall, Wauzeka, 7 p.m.
•Veterans Day Dance, Larry Busch Big Band, Vesperman Farms, Lancaster, 7 p.m.


Fatality involved in head-on crash

One man was pronounced dead and another was severely injured in a semi versus truck crash that occurred between the Wisconsin-Iowa bridge Monday morning, according to the Crawford County Sheriff’s Department.

At 8:58 a.m., Nov. 6, officers were called to the scene on Highway 18 and found that a 2005 Kenworth semi, owned and operated by Robert Wiemerslage, 63, of Spring Grove, Minn., had struck a 2009 Ford F150, operated by Raul Rivera Negron, 49, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, head-on.


Bloomington sisters featured on billboard in Bridgeport

Ava (left) and Ashlyn DeShaw are pictured with aunt Emily Edge on this billboard, near the Captain’s Cove in Bridgeport. The billboard was provided through a Travel Wisconsin grant to Shakespeare on the Edge, in promotion of its renaissance faire in New Glarus, A Gathering of Rogues and Ruffians. (Photo by Correne Martin)

By Correne Martin

Two young girls from Bloomington have been featured on a very prominent billboard in Bridgeport late this summer and fall. Ava and Ashlyn DeShaw, 9-year-old daughters of Adam and Jackie DeShaw, are fourth graders at River Ridge School.

The sisters are pictured on the billboard—Ava as a pirate and Ashlyn as a witch—enjoying some tea and smiling during at A Gathering of Rogues and Ruffians, a renaissance faire in New Glarus. The billboard is located near Captain’s Cove, along Highway 18.

Their aunt, Jennifer (Edge) Bethel, happens to be the founder and executive director of Shakespeare on the Edge, an incorporation based in Monroe that works to bring youth together through the works of William Shakespeare to explore the healing power of art and the transformative qualities of performance (shakespeareontheedge.blogspot.com).


Southwest Tech campus closed after a threat

The Southwest Wisconsin Technical College campus in Fennimore was closed Wednesday, Nov. 1, after what SWTC officials called “a direct threat to campus safety.”

William Howell, 42, of Livingston, was arrested for disorderly conduct after the reported threat resulted in the closing of the campus, according to the Grant County Sheriff’s Office.

According to the sheriff’s office, Howell became angry at Facebook likes of his children Tuesday evening by a SWTC student, who Howell believed was having an affair with Howell’s estranged wife.

After sending his estranged wife Facebook and text messages through the night, including a threat to assault the SWTC student, Howell confronted his estranged wife Wednesday around 7 a.m. and tried to prevent her from taking their children to school that morning, according to the sheriff’s office.

Fennimore police and Grant County deputies responded to the threat, according to the Southwest Tech website.


Veterans Day observations

For 98 years, Americans have remembered those who served our country in uniform on Nov. 11—first as Armistice Day, and then, since 1954, as Veterans Day.

This year, Veterans Day will fall on a Saturday. As communities, schools, Legions and other organizations observe this special day, some events will take place on Saturday, Nov. 11, while others will happen on a weekday before or after the holiday. The public is welcome to attend all of the following.

•The Crawford County Veterans Day program will be held Nov. 11 at Century Hall in Wauzeka at 7 p.m., hosted by Post 446 of Steuben. Theresa Brewer, a Persian Gulf veteran from Boscobel, is the guest speaker for the evening.

•Seneca Schools has scheduled its Veterans Day program at the school for Thursday, Nov. 9, at 9 a.m.


Turkey, Tinsel and Tears Nov. 8 can help cope with loss of a loved one

The Infields’ last photo together from December 2013. Todd passed away unexpectedly in March 2014. His widow, Kristin, is now helping others cope with the loss of loved ones as she coordinates Gundersen Prairie du Chien’s Turkey, Tinsel and Tears program. Also pictured are their children, Riley and Ben.

Losing a loved one is never easy, whether it is an expected or unexpected death.

“Death is something we will all face and have to go through at some point in our lives,” said Kristin Infield, of Cassville, a registered radiologic tech at Gundersen Prairie du Chien Clinic.

She knows the pain of losing loved ones all too well. In March 2014, Kristin’s husband, Todd, an attorney in Lancaster, collapsed after his right carotid artery dissected and caused a stroke. He died a few days later on March 3, just days shy of his 45th birthday. To add to the pain, Todd’s father had passed away unexpectedly just three months earlier.


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