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MADISON - The prosecution of Leonard J. Quintana for mayhem with a school zone penalty enhancer can move forward after a ruling by the Wisconsin Supreme Court today. In its decision, the Court concluded that allegations that the defendant struck the head of his wife could be charged under Wisconsin's criminal mayhem statute, Wis. Stat. 940.21. The court also found that the state's school zone penalty enhancer was constitutional as applied to this case.
"We are pleased that the Wisconsin Supreme Court adopted and elaborated on the arguments we made in this case in its detailed opinion," Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen said. "By recognizing the constitutionality of the school zone penalty enhancement statute as applied to this case, the decision is a victory for school safety."
Today's decision affirms the court of appeals' decision, which had reversed an order from the Marathon County Circuit Court dismissing the mayhem charge.
The Supreme Court's decision returns Quintana's case to Marathon County Circuit Court for further proceedings. Quintana enjoys a presumption of innocence in that court. The complaint and amended information filed in this case contain allegations that the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.
Assistant Attorney General Christopher G. Wren represented the state in the Wisconsin Supreme Court.
A copy of today's opinion can be found at http://www.wicourts.gov/sc/opinion/DisplayDocument.pdf?content=pdf&seqNo=32588