Delavan police officer sentenced to 30 months probation in strangling case

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Jonah Beleckis | August 9, 2016

ELKHORN—A Delavan police lieutenant changed his plea to guilty Friday and was sentenced to 30 months of probation in Walworth County Court for trying to strangle his girlfriend.

Under a plea agreement, Todd Wiese, 44, pleaded guilty to strangulation and one count of felony bail jumping.

Special prosecutor Michael Thurston said if Wiese pleaded guilty to strangulation and one of three felony bail jumping counts, the state would dismiss and read all remaining counts.

Wiese and his girlfriend argued the night of Dec. 18 after Wiese accused her of talking to another man, according to the criminal complaint. While in Wiese's apartment, he grabbed her by the scarf around her neck and choked her, according to the complaint.

The victim told police she and Wiese had been dating for a few months and had become engaged the week before the incident.

On March 8, Wiese pleaded not guilty to strangulation and misdemeanors battery and disorderly conduct, according to online court records.

Thurston filed a criminal complaint June 3, alleging Wiese had exchanged hundreds of text messages with the victim and met her at least twice over five months, despite bond conditions restricting his contact with her.

Wiese's case had been set for trial Monday, Aug. 22.

Wiese was sentenced immediately after changing his plea. The victim was present in court but did not speak, Thurston said.

Thurston recommended a sentence of eight months in jail that would be imposed and stayed, which was different from the withheld sentence Wiese was given.

Instead of having a consequence in place in case of a probation violation, Wiese will have to reappear before the judge for a new sentence, Thurston said. The new sentence could range from the maximum of six years in prison and six years of extended supervision to jail time, depending on the severity of the violation.

For the most part, Thurston said, the prosecution and defense agreed on the sentencing recommendations.

“In essence, we were both really close to seeing eye-to-eye on what the ultimate sentence should be,” Thurston said.

A Delavan police official could not be reached for comment Monday on Wiese's employment status. Police Chief Tim O'Neill told The Gazette in early June that Wiese was on unpaid leave from the department.

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