A 36-year-old Eagle River woman who allegedly was the driver of a vehicle that was involved in an accident and injured a passenger, pleaded not guilty to a felony charge in Vilas County Circuit Court last week.

Sara M. Towne, charged with knowingly operating a motor vehicle while revoked-causing great bodily harm, waived her preliminary hearing. Probable cause was found she had committed a crime and she was bound over for arraignment. 

Not guilty pleas were entered by the court and a pretrial conference was set for April 2 at 9:15 a.m. She is free on a $2,500 signature bond with the conditions she not possess or consume intoxicants and no taverns.

According to the complaint, Towne was the driver of a one-vehicle roll-over accident about 1:38 a.m. Oct. 16, 2018, in the town of Washington. A male passenger was pinned in the vehicle and sustained a broken arm and other injuries, according to the complaint.

A witness told investigators Towne took the vehicle without permission from a residence on East Carpenter Lake Road and allegedly crashed the vehicle on Highway 70 near Catch 22 restaurant. Court documents note Towne had a revoked driver’s license at the time of the accident. 

According to the complaint, Towne was driving the vehicle eastbound on Highway 70 and apparently lost control of the vehicle, crossed the center line and the vehicle ended up on its top in the Catch 22 parking lot. 

In other felony cases, Austin N. Lopez-Chapman, 19, of Lac du Flambeau, charged with second-degree sexual assault-intoxicated victim, and two counts of felony bail jumping, waived his preliminary hearing. Probable cause was found he committed a crime and he was bound over for arraignment. Not guilty pleas were entered by the court and a pretrial conference was set for Feb. 19 at 2:45 p.m. His $50,000 cash bond was continued.

According to the complaint, Lopez-Chapman and a woman were drinking at a Lac du Flambeau residence in the afternoon of Jan. 19. They became intoxicated and he helped her into a bedroom. He then allegedly sexually assaulted her.

In another open felony case, Lopez-Chapman is charged with sexual assault of a child under age 16. He allegedly had intercourse three times between Feb. 18 and Aug. 18, 2018, with a female born in February 2004. A pretrial conference in that case also is set for Feb. 19.

Benjamin J. Rizzo, 32, of Star Lake, convicted of four counts of forgery and two counts of theft of moveable property in a case from 2012, was sentenced to one year, six months in the Wisconsin Prison System and one year of extended supervision at a sentencing hearing on revocation last week for not paying restitution. He received credit for 481 days served in jail. The court also noted  if the restitution is paid in full, the extended supervision may be terminated.

Riley H. Hitchcock, 22, of St. Germain, charged with taking and driving a vehicle without consent and theft of moveable property, waived his preliminary hearing, was bound over for arraignment and not guilty pleas were entered by the court. A pretrial conference was set for March 5 at 1:30 p.m. His $1,000 signature bond was continued. 

According to the complaint, a Conover property owner reported to the Vilas County Sheriff’s Department June 15, 2018, that a boat and trailer were missing from the property. They said they were from Milwaukee and were last at the property Memorial Day weekend. On Jan. 10, 2019, a Vilas County deputy received information that Hitchcock allegedly stole the boat and trailer. An investigation followed and Hitchcock was arrested Jan. 11. 

Charles L. Duffek, 52, of Eagle River, charged with exposing a child to harmful descriptions, was in court for a status hearing at which Judge Nielsen ordered a competency exam for Duffek, with a court hearing scheduled for March 11 at 9:30 a.m. 

David J. Hagen Jr., 38, of Hazelhurst, charged with theft by contractor, $2,500 to $5,000, waived his preliminary hearing. Probable cause was found he had committed a crime and he was bound over for arraignment. A not guilty plea was entered by the court and a pretrial conference was set for April 9 at 10:15 a.m.

According to the complaint, David and Lynda Hagen, doing business as DVL Painting and Staining, had allegedly agreed to stain five buildings and three decks for a Sayner property owner for a total of $6,500, with a 50% deposit of $3,250. According to the complaint, the property owner said the work was to include power washing, siding repair, deck repair, caulking, two coats of paint on trim, doors and soffit, and place a natural cedar stain on the buildings. 

The property owner told law enforcement officers that workers came to the residence and replaced eight boards and stringers on the deck, purchased by the property owner, and completed the work in about two hours. The property owner said the workers never returned and he attempted to contact the Hagens but their cellphones were disconnected. A law enforcement officer eventually made contact with Lynda Hagen, 36, a year after the work was not completed May 30, 2017, and said she would contact the property owner about completing the work, but allegedly she never made the contact, according to the complaint.  

Lynda Hagen, who faces the same charge, has a pretrial conference set for Feb. 26 at 11:30 a.m.

Gordon R. Parks, 49, of Merrill, charged with two counts of felony bail jumping and one count of disorderly conduct, had a preliminary hearing set for March 14 at 2:30 p.m. His $200 cash bond, posted Jan. 10, was continued.

According to the complaint, Parks was on the gaming floor at Lake of the Torches Casino in Lac du Flambeau Jan. 4 and allegedly kicked a game machine. He then allegedly attempted to panhandle cigarettes from another casino guest on the game floor. A law enforcement officer went to Parks’ room to question him about the alleged incidents. The officer reported an odor of intoxicants on Parks, who has an open felony case for fourth-offense operating while intoxicated. A condition of his bond is not to possess or consume intoxicants. He was arrested at the casino and transported to the Vilas County Jail.

Dennis W. Thompson, 43, of Lac du Flambeau, charged with child abuse-intentionally causing harm, was bound over for arraignment and a not guilty plea was entered by the court. A pretrial conference was set for April 9 at 10 a.m. His $1,000 signature bond was continued. 

According to the complaint, Thompson allegedly struck a child, born in 2005, with a belt, causing bruising on the child’s back. The child told investigators he was supposed to change his step-brother’s diaper, but was unable to change the diaper so Thompson allegedly struck him with the belt at a Lac du Flambeau residence Sept. 24, 2018. 

Edward J. Chosa Jr., 32, of Lac du Flambeau, charged with possession of marijuana (second-plus offense), battery or threat to judge, prosecutor or law enforcement officer, resisting or obstructing an officer, possession of drug paraphernalia and disorderly conduct, had a pretrial conference set for April 9 at 10:45 a.m. His $2,500 signature bond was continued with the condition that Chosa report to the Family Resource Center in Lac du Flambeau within 24 hours of his release. Other conditions of his bond include: undergo anger management counseling; alcohol and other drug abuse assessment and follow through; not to possess or consume intoxicants; and no taverns.

According to the complaint, law enforcement officers received a call to have Chosa removed from a residence at 12:55 a.m. Nov. 21, 2018, in Lac du Flambeau. When officers arrived, they were told that Chosa and a female left the residence in a vehicle. The vehicle was located and officers initiated a traffic stop because Chosa was on probation. Officers noted that Chosa allegedly placed something in the center console of the vehicle and was very hostile toward law enforcement, according to the complaint. Officers located marijuana in the vehicle and paraphernalia on Chosa at the jail following his arrest.