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News from around Wisconsin (10:51 p.m. 11/17/09)

Wis. man charged with slaying 14-year-old stepson

MILWAUKEE (AP) — A southeastern Wisconsin man strangled his 14-year-old stepson with a necktie in a minivan in a Wal-Mart parking lot, telling investigators he wanted to get revenge on his wife and her relatives for interfering in his business, prosecutors said Tuesday.

Charles A. Avey Sr., 37, of Grafton, was charged with first-degree intentional homicide and felony bail jumping in the death of Cody A. Reetz. Online court records didn’t list an attorney for Avey, and police didn’t know whether he had a lawyer.

Prosecutors said Avey killed Reetz to punish his wife’s mother, sisters and ex-husband for meddling in his family’s affairs, prosecutors said. Around the same time as the teen’s death on Sunday, Avey’s wife was filing a police report alleging that he repeatedly struck her with a hammer the previous week, the criminal complaint said.

Cody’s body was found in the minivan, a necktie knotted tightly around his neck, prosecutors said. A medical examiner said the eighth grader died of strangulation.

On the day of the slaying, Avey’s mother-in-law picked his wife up from their home, and neither responded to Avey’s repeated text messages, according to a criminal complaint.

Avey then got into his car, drove around and spotted his mother-in-law’s car at the police station, the complaint said. He then went home, picked up Cody and drove to the Walmart, where they sat in the parking lot while Avey grew increasingly agitated that his wife didn’t call him back, it said.

The complaint accuses Avey of strangling Cody with one necktie and using a second necktie to tie his arm to a seat.

Dane County Humane Society gets grant

CAZENOVIA, Wis. (AP) — A national group is giving a $50,000 grant to the Dane County Humane Society to help pay for expenses related to the seizure of more than 350 animals in Richland County.

Jennifer Petkus faces 34 misdemeanors, mostly for the charge of intentionally mistreating animals.

Authorities found in May she was allegedly keeping more than 330 dogs and numerous other animals in deplorable conditions at Thyme and Sage Ranch in Cazenovia.

Richland County weren’t able to provide temporary shelter, so the animals were taken to the humane society.

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals gave the grant and said the humane society spent more than $100,000 on medical care, shelter and food.

Petkus faces a jury trial in February.

Kimberly goes for third straight WIAA title

MADISON, Wis. (AP) Kimberly coach Steve Jorgensen expected the Papermakers to have a solid season.

But defending back-to-back WIAA Division 2 state titles seemed a bit out of reach for a program that graduated 18 of 22 starters, including all 11 on offense.

Add in the loss of starting quarterback Mitch Hintz in the final regular game of the season, and Kimberly looked like a candidate for a quick exit from the state playoffs.

Instead, the Papermakers (12-1) will be back at Camp Randall Stadium for the third straight year when they meet perennial power Waunakee (12-1) for the Division 2 state championship at 1 p.m. Friday.

“I’m a little bit surprised,” Jorgensen, whose team?s only setback in its last 41 games was a 12-6 decision to Fox Valley Association champion Appleton North in the second game of the season. “When our quarterback was injured week nine, we had to start from scratch offensively.

“But we moved Colten Heagle from safety to tailback; Austin Rogers took over at quarterback. We were more of a quarterback-run offense. When we moved Colten back there, we became more of a tailback offense.”

Jorgensen said the Papermakers, who are averaging 42.5 points a game in the playoffs, used the loss of Hintz to help them write their own legacy.

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