No appeal in homicide case

(Published Dec. 1, 2006, 5:55 p.m.)

By Mike Heine/The Week

The State Attorney General's office decided not to appeal Carol L. LaPorte's overturned reckless homicide, District Attorney Phil Koss said Friday.

At this point, the case appears headed for a retrial, slated to start Jan. 8, Koss said.

On Oct. 6, presiding Judge Michael Gibbs vacated the guilty verdict allowed the retrial on grounds that LaPorte's first attorney, Thomas Brown, was ineffective.

Brown failed to have key witnesses testify, including a forensic pathologist to rebut the testimony of Milwaukee County Medical Examiner Dr. Jeffrey Jentzen, who conducted the autopsy of Anthony LaPorte.

Carol LaPorte, 36, stabbed her husband in the heart with a steak knife in September 2003. She claims the stabbing was in self-defense, alleging Anthony attacked her after the two got back to their Williams Bay condominium from a night of drinking and partying.

The Attorney General did not seek to appeal because Gibbs' decision was discretionary and an appellate court gives more latitude toward the trial court, Koss said.

A motion hearing is set for Dec. 14. The trial is scheduled for two weeks, almost twice as long as the first trial.

LaPorte, of Chicago, was originally sentenced to 10 years in prison for charges of first-degree reckless homicide and aggravated battery. She spent about 18 months behind bars before posting bail after her sentence was overturned.

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