Man accused in 2010 killing of Lake Geneva woman now ruled competent to stand trial
RACINE A Racine man accused in the October 2010 killing of a Lake Geneva woman who was planning to hand out $100 in quarters at a Racine Laundromat to people in need has been found competent to stand trial.
Wilbert L. Thomas, 67, had been confined to the Mendota Mental Health Institute in Madison since February 2011, following the killing of Sandy Teichow.
Thomas, who is charged with first-degree intentional homicide and theft from a person or corpse, had been ordered to undergo a psychological evaluation in October 2010. He was found competent to stand trial, but pleaded not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect that November.
A recent evaluation determined that he now has the capacity to understand the proceedings against him and assist with his defense, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. See the JS story at HERE
The JS story said Thomas’ lawyers did not contest the ruling, and a Racine County judge set April 16 as the date for the case to proceed.
If he is found guilty of first-degree intentional homicide, Thomas faces life in prison.
On the day she died, Teichow told her hair stylist that she was going to take $100 in quarters, go to a Laundromat and give them to people in need, “just to be nice.”
Teichow’s body was found later that day in a secluded, wooded area of Racine, and photos in a camera recovered next to the body led investigators to Thomas, a convicted sex offender.
According to a criminal complaint Thomas struck Teichow with a 4-foot walking cane, leaving her on the ground with dirt and leaves clenched in her fists.
Several quarters were found underneath Teichow’s body, and investigators found a jar half filled with quarters at Thomas’ home, according to the criminal complaint. Police also located a silver cane believed to have been used in the homicide.
The Racine County District Attorney’s Office twice tried to have Thomas committed as a sexual predator.
Teichow, who’d formerly lived in Elkhorn, was known for her humanitarian and community-based work. She was the director of humanitarian affairs at Christ Lutheran Church in Sharon, she was involved in Sharon’s Main Street program and the village’s annual Victorian Christmas program.