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Wayne Kubsch - Indiana - Page 2
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  1. #11
    Moderator Ryan's Avatar
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    Convicted murderer Wayne Kubsch's bid for new trial rejected

    SOUTH BEND — A federal appeals court panel has rejected a bid for a new trial by convicted murderer Wayne Kubsch, who is on death row for a triple slaying in Mishawaka in 1998.

    Kubsch was sentenced to death for the murders of his wife, Beth Kubsch, 31; her ex-husband, Rick Milewski, 35; and their 10-year-old son Aaron Milewski, who were found dead in the basement of their Mishawaka home in September 1998.

    Prosecutors say Kubsch was heavily in debt and killed his wife to collect on a $575,000 life insurance policy he'd taken out on her.

    His first conviction in 2000 was overturned before a second jury in 2005 also convicted him and recommended the death penalty.

    Kubsch appealed his sentence, calling it unconstitutional because evidence was excluded.

    http://www.southbendtribune.com/news...2a8ffbea2.html

  2. #12
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    Prosecutor weighing third murder trial for Wayne Kubsch

    More than a decade after death row inmate Wayne Kubsch was last convicted of a 1998 triple murder, prosecutors will have to consider whether a key piece of evidence could hurt the chances of winning a third conviction.

    Kubsch, 48, was twice convicted of murdering his wife, Beth Kubsch, her ex-husband Rick Milewski and her 10-year-old son Aaron Milewski in Mishawaka in September 1998.

    Last week, a U.S. appeals court reversed his second conviction and granted him another trial.

    In a 6-3 ruling, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals found that the jury in Kubsch’s second trial in 2005 should have been allowed to see “critical evidence” that was withheld and, if believed, could have convinced jurors that he was innocent.

    The court said a videotaped police interview with Amanda Buck, a neighbor of Rick and Aaron Milewski who was 9 years old at the time of the killings, should have been admitted as evidence, but was excluded because of Indiana’s trial rules.

    Excluding the videotape, which challenged prosecutors’ timeline of the killings, violated Kubsch’s constitutional right to a fair trial, the court ruled.

    Given Buck’s videotaped statements, prosecutors must decide whether they can prove their original theory of how and when Kubsch committed the killings, said Amy Dillard, a visiting professor of law at Indiana University who has represented five clients in death penalty cases.

    “It’s pretty clear that they were trying to offer the theory that (Kubsch) was literally present and did the killing,” Dillard said. “Of course, the child witness whose testimony wasn’t allowed was a direct contradiction to that theory.”

    Kubsch has maintained that he was in Michigan at the time of the crime, and that a friend, Brad Hardy, committed the killings. Hardy was originally charged with conspiracy to commit murder, but prosecutors dropped those charges after he testified at Kubsch’s first trial.

    On Friday, St. Joseph County Prosecutor Ken Cotter was still considering whether to pursue a third trial, spokeswoman Jessica McBrier said in a statement. She said prosecutors were reviewing boxes of case files and trial materials, and had spoken with family members of the victims.

    In its order, the appeals court gave prosecutors 120 days to take steps toward a new trial or drop the case and set Kubsch free. He has been on death row at the Indiana State Prison in Michigan City since his 2005 conviction. The state also could ask the U.S. Supreme Court to take the case.

    The victims were found dead Sept. 18, 1998, at the Mishawaka home of Wayne and Beth Kubsch. All three victims had multiple stab wounds. Rick and Aaron Milewski also had been shot.

    Prosecutors alleged that Wayne Kubsch killed his wife because he was deeply in debt and had taken out a $575,000 life insurance policy on Beth Kubsch just weeks before her slaying. Prosecutors had no forensic evidence or eyewitnesses, but they used seemingly overwhelming circumstantial evidence to build a case against Kubsch.

    Using telephone records and witness statements, prosecutors narrowed the alleged time of the killings to a one-hour window between 1:53 p.m. and 2:51 p.m., during which Kubsch was at the home at some point.

    But in the videotaped interview, Buck, who lived across the street from Rick and Aaron Milewski, told police she saw them at home sometime after 3:30 p.m. on the day of the murders. Her mother, who also participated in the interview, supported some of her details.

    At the second trial, Buck’s mother said their statements to police were mistaken, and that she had actually seen Rick and Aaron Milewski at home the day before the murders. Buck, then 16, claimed she had no memory of the interview.

    Because Buck could not vouch for the accuracy of her statements in the videotape, the trial court excluded the tape as unreliable “hearsay” evidence. But in its ruling last week, the appeals court said the U.S. Supreme Court has found that such evidence must be admitted in similar cases.

    Dillard, the law professor, said the development of cell phone technology also could present a challenge for prosecutors in a third Kubsch trial. Today’s experts have found the cell data from the late 1990s was less reliable than experts believed at the time, she said, which could raise further questions about the accuracy of the prosecutors’ timeline of the murders.

    Alan Freedman, an attorney who represented Kubsch in his federal appeal, said Kubsch was relieved by the court’s decision, but aware of the possibility he could be tried and convicted again.

    “He’s relieved, but he’s cautious,” Freedman said. “He’s won before, and then lost. And I can’t say he’s happy or elated — his wife died.”

    http://www.southbendtribune.com/news...7c48eea8c.html
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  3. #13
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    State asks U.S. Supreme Court to take up Kubsch death penalty case

    By Christian Scheckler
    The South Bend Tribune

    If state officials have their way, the death penalty case stemming from a 1998 triple murder in Mishawaka would go all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

    Wayne Kubsch, 49, was twice convicted of three counts of murder and sentenced to death for the brutal killings of his wife, Beth Kubsch, her ex-husband, Rick Milewski, and her 10-year-old son, Aaron Milewski.

    A series of appeals failed. However, in a 6-3 decision in September, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit reversed the convictions, ruling that Kubsch's second trial in 2005 violated his right to a defense because the court, citing Indiana trial rules, barred evidence that may have cast doubt on his guilt.

    The Court of Appeals ordered state officials to release Kubsch or give him a third trial. In a petition filed Monday, though, the state asked the nation's highest court to take up the case, arguing the appeals court misinterpreted the law.

    The Court of Appeals ruled that the 2005 trial court should have allowed the jury to see a videotaped statement by a young girl who seemed to undermine the alleged timeline of the killings in her interview with police four days after the killings, yet later claimed she did not remember making the statement.

    But in the petition filed this week, officials with Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill's office said previous Supreme Court decisions allowed for state trial courts to bar such recorded statements from evidence if the person who made the statement cannot vouch for its reliability.

    The petition asks the Supreme Court to intervene and possibly hand down a "summary reversal" of the lower appellate court's decision without accepting written briefs or oral arguments on the case.

    The case began Sept. 18, 1998, when Beth Kubsch's son, 12-year-old Anthony Early, arrived home from school. Inside the Kubsch home, he found all three victims with multiple stab wounds. Rick and Aaron Milewski also had been shot.

    Prosecutors alleged Kubsch killed his wife because he was deeply in debt and had opened a $575,000 life insurance policy on Beth Kubsch just weeks before her death. Prosecutors had no direct forensic evidence or eyewitnesses, but they relied on what the federal appeals court called an "overwhelming glacier of circumstantial evidence" that Kubsch was guilty.

    Using telephone records and witness statements, prosecutors narrowed the alleged time of the killings to a one-hour window between 1:53 p.m. and 2:51 p.m. Sept. 18, during which Wayne Kubsch was home at some point.

    Prosecutors' version of events was clouded by Amanda Buck, a neighbor of Rick and Aaron Milewski who was 9 years old at the time of the killings. In a recorded interview four days after the killings, Buck told a police detective she had seen Rick and Aaron at home sometime after 3:30 p.m. the day of the murders. Her mother, who participated in the interview, supported some of her details.

    Buck never testified during Kubsch's first trial in 2000. At the second trial, her mother said their original statements to police were mistaken, and that Buck had actually seen Rick and Aaron at home not on the day of the murders, but the day before.

    Buck, then 16, claimed she had no memory of her statements to police.

    Kubsch has maintained that he was in Michigan at the time of the killings, and that a friend, Brad Hardy, committed the crime. Hardy was originally charged with conspiracy to commit murder, but prosecutors dropped the charge after he testified at Kubsch's first trial.

    http://www.southbendtribune.com/news...67af68dbc.html
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  4. #14
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    In today's orders, the United States Supreme Court declined to review the State of Indiana's petition for certiorari.

    Lower Ct: United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
    Case Nos.: (14-1898)
    Decision Date: September 23, 2016

    https://www.supremecourt.gov/search....es/16-1021.htm

  5. #15
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    Prosecutors plan to try Wayne Kubsch for the third time

    MISHAWAKA — It's a new chapter in a decades-long story. The St. Joseph County Prosecutor's Office announced it will retry Wayne Kubsch.

    He was convicted in 2000 of three counts of murder for killing his wife Beth, her ex-husband Rick Milewski, and their 10-year-old son Aaron Mileski. This will be his third trial.

    The brutal killings happened in 1998. When he was first convicted in 2000 he received the death sentence, but that was overturned.

    A second trial in 2005, again, ended with a conviction -- a death sentence for Kubsch -- but early this year an appeals court overturned that ruling based on a piece of evidence that the jurors were never shown.

    Now, St. Joseph County Prosecutor Ken Cotter is planning to try him yet again. He's requested Kubsch be brought back to St. Joseph County to begin assisting in his defense.

    He is planning to seek the death penalty.

    WSBT 22's Diane Daniels reached out to Beth's mother, Diane Mauk, earlier this year.

    She said she always wanted Kubsch to get the death penalty, but if he received life in prison she could live with that.

    She says it won't bring back her loved ones.

    http://wsbt.com/news/local/prosecuto...the-third-time

  6. #16
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    Kubsch makes court appearance

    A man twice convicted of a triple murder appeared in court Tuesday to start a new trial, and will return to court next week.

    Wayne Kubsch, 49, won an appeal and now gets a new trial.

    He's charged in the 1998 murders of his wife, her ex-husband and his 10-year-old stepson in Mishawaka.

    An appeals court reversed the latest conviction earlier this year.

    The court said jurors should have heard evidence challenging the prosecution's version of events.

    Kubsch is now back in the St. Joseph County Jail so he can assist in his defense.

    The prosecutor's office is once again seeking the death penalty.

    http://wsbt.com/news/local/kubsch-ma...urt-appearance
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  7. #17
    Senior Member CnCP Legend CharlesMartel's Avatar
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    Retrial dates set in Wayne Kubsch Mishawaka triple murder case

    Third time Kubsch on trial for 1998 killings

    By Lincoln Wright
    The South Bend Tribune

    SOUTH BEND — Judge Jane Miller warned Friday that when Wayne Kubsch goes before a jury in early 2019, it's going to be another exhausting trial.

    "This is going to be grueling for you all," Miller told attorneys at Friday's status hearing in St. Joseph Superior Court 1.

    This is the third time the now 49-year-old Kubsch is being tried in the same case, accused of murdering his wife, Beth Kubsch, her ex-husband Rick Milewski and her 10-year-old son, Aaron Milewski.

    Similar to the past two times, two weeks of jury selection and three weeks of trial are planned, with 400 potential jurors being called. The final jury will also be sequestered for the length of the trial and once again have the decision of the death penalty weighing on them.

    Kubsch appeared by video conference from the St. Joseph County Jail for Friday's hearing, where it was decided the state and defense will have another year to prepare before heading to trial.

    The 400 jurors will be called Jan 7 and 8, 2019, to submit written questionnaires. The attorneys will then have until the end of the month to agree if there are any jurors they want dismissed.

    Those not dismissed will be brought back for the next phase of selection, which is set for Feb. 11 to Feb. 22, 2019. There will then be a two-day break and the final jury will be seated Feb. 25 and the likely three-week trial will begin.

    Miller scheduled a break before final jury selection, again citing the exhausting process.

    Kubsch was charged with three counts of murder in December 1998. He was convicted on all three counts and sentenced to death in 2000. In 2003, the Indiana Supreme Court reversed the conviction and remanded the case for a new trial, ruling that then Superior Court Judge Jerome Frese should not have allowed prosecutors to play a videotape for jurors that showed Kubsch invoking his constitutional right to silence while being questioned by police.

    Kubsch was retried, convicted and sentenced to death again in 2005.

    But in September 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals' 7th Circuit reversed the second conviction, saying the jury should have been allowed to see "critical evidence" that was withheld and might have convinced jurors that Kubsch was innocent.

    The court said a videotaped police interview with Amanda Buck, a neighbor of Rick and Aaron Milewski, who was 9 at the time of the killings, should have been admitted as evidence and was excluded because of Indiana's trial rules.

    The exclusion of the videotape, which challenged prosecutors' timeline of the killings, violated Kubsch's constitutional right to a fair trial, the court ruled.

    Because of the length of the proceedings, there was a lot of discussion about dates at Friday's hearing. Defense attorneys Mark Lenyo and Thomas Keller, originally requested the trail begin in March or April of 2019.

    Because of needing 400 jurors to be brought in and March and April being a common time for spring break vacations, Miller was not thrilled with those dates. When asked about after spring break, Miller again struck that down citing college graduations and the need for hotel space for the jury.

    Kubsch's past trials had a similar timeline and dates, Miller said, and likely the same concerns were brought into consideration in the past.

    Another status conference is scheduled in the case for next month.

    https://www.southbendtribune.com/new...5369e64b0.html

  8. #18
    Senior Member CnCP Legend CharlesMartel's Avatar
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    Defense seeking change of venue in Mishawaka triple murder retrial

    South Bend Tribune report

    SOUTH BEND — The defense is seeking a change of venue for a man going to trial for the third time in a triple murder and death penalty case.

    Wayne Kubsch, 49, appeared Friday by video conference before Judge Jane Miller in St. Joseph Superior Court. Kubsch is heading for a second retrial, accused of the 1998 murders of his wife, Beth Kubsch, her ex-husband Rick Milewski and her 10-year-old son, Aaron Milewski.

    Friday, Kubsch's defense team told the court it is seeking the trial be moved to a different county, according to the St. Joseph County Prosecutor's Office. Judge Miller gave the defense until March 16 to file its motion for a change of venue. Once that is filed the state will file its response.

    At a previous status conference, dates were set in 2019 for Kubsch's trial to begin. Whether those dates will stand waits to be determined, but when the trial does happen it is expected to last three weeks. Judge Miller told the attorneys to expect jury selection and the trial to be an exhausting process.

    "This is going to be grueling for all of you," Judge Miller said at the previous hearing.

    Kubsch was charged with three counts of murder in December 1998. He was convicted on all three counts and sentenced to death in 2000. In 2003, the Indiana Supreme Court reversed the conviction and remanded the case for a new trial, ruling that then Superior Court Judge Jerome Frese should not have allowed prosecutors to play a videotape for jurors that showed Kubsch invoking his constitutional right to silence while being questioned by police.

    Kubsch was retried, convicted and sentenced to death again in 2005.

    But in September 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals' 7th Circuit reversed the second conviction, saying the jury should have been allowed to see "critical evidence" that was withheld and might have convinced jurors that Kubsch was innocent.

    The court said a videotaped police interview with Amanda Buck, a neighbor of Rick and Aaron Milewski, who was 9 at the time of the killings, should have been admitted as evidence and was excluded because of Indiana's trial rules.

    The exclusion of the videotape, which challenged prosecutors' timeline of the killings, violated Kubsch's constitutional right to a fair trial, the court ruled.

    https://www.southbendtribune.com/new...6219e9cc2.html
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  9. #19
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    Death penalty dropped for murder suspect Wayne Kubsch

    The state of Indiana will no longer seek the death penalty for Wayne Kubsch, the Mishawaka man accused of killing his wife, her ex-husband and her 10-year-old son in 1998.

    The St. Joseph County Prosecutor's Office filed a motion to amend the charges against Kubsch. In that motion, the state struck down a request for a death sentence and replaced it with a request for life in prison without parole.

    According to the Prosecutor’s Office, they made the decision to amend the charges after extensive discussions and meetings with the victims' families.

    Kubsch was sentenced to death in 2000, but his conviction was set aside by the Indiana Supreme Court three years later.

    He was convicted for a second time in 2005, but a federal appeals court threw out that conviction.

    Officials say Kubsch murdered Aaron Milewski, Beth Kubsch, and her 10-year-old son back on September 18, 1998.

    https://www.wndu.com/content/news/De...493293821.html
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  10. #20
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    Jury selection begins Monday in third murder trial for Wayne Kubsch

    by WSBT 22
    WSBT-TV

    Jury selection begins tomorrow in the third murder trial for Wayne Kubsch in St. Joseph County.

    Kubsch had his first two capital murder convictions overturned in the 1998 deaths of his wife Beth Kubsch, her ex-husband Rick Milewski and her ten-year-old son Aaron Milewski.

    This time Kubsch will be tried without the death penalty on the table. Instead, the prosecution is seeking life without parole.

    150 people will be called for jury duty.

    A larger jury pool is being used to insure Kubsch gets a fair trial. The defense had argued that the case should be moved out of St Joseph County.

    https://wsbt.com/news/local/jury-sel...r-wayne-kubsch
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