2014

Keith Kutska’s 152-Page Motion for a New Trial (October 30, 2014)

The link below is a .pdf version of the entire 152-page motion filed on behalf of Keith Kutska for a retrial due to new evidence that casts doubt on the idea that Tom Monfils was murdered. According to evidence presented in the motion, there is great probability that Tom Monfils actually commit suicide in response to Keith Kutska confronting him about calling the Green Bay Police Department when Keith took a length of cable from their place of work, the James River Paper Mill, without filling out the proper requisition form.

10-30-14_Keith_Kutska_Motion_for_Retrial

Walk for Truth and Justice (October 26, 2014)

Rally held for men convicted in 1992 Monfils murder

Doug Schneider , USA TODAY NETWORK-WisconsinPublished 7:51 p.m. CT Oct. 25, 2014 | Updated 2:28 p.m. CT Oct. 26, 2014

http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/story/news/local/2014/10/25/rally-held-men-convicted-monfils-murder/17934335/

Supporters of the men convicted in the 1992 murder of Thomas Monfils rallied at the Brown County Courthouse Saturday, buoyed by the hope that they can soon ask a judge to reconsider the case.

“The legal team has been working with witnesses and experts to prepare a motion showing why the men were wrongfully convicted,” said Denis Gullickson, who has written a book claiming that the six were wrongly convicted. “We expect that a motion will be filed with the court in the very near future and the reasons why the convictions were wrongful will then become clear.”

The six were convicted in 1995 in the killing of Monfils, who was a 35-year-old worker at what was then the James River Corp. paper mill when he was slain. Dale Basten, Michael Hirn, Michael Johnson, Keith Kutska and Rey Moore are serving time in state prison; Michael Piaskowski was freed in 2001 after his conviction was overturned when an appeals court found that there had been insufficient evidence to convict him.

Gullickson told about 40 people gathered outside the courthouse in twilight Saturday that a Minneapolis attorney and the Minnesota and Wisconsin Innocence projects are preparing a court filing on behalf of the men who remain in prison.

Supporters carried signs bearing slogans like “Walk for Truth, Walk for Justice,” and “Stand Witness to Innocence.” After listening to Gullickson and justice advocates Joan Treppa and Trudy Baltazar, they marched to Green Bay Police Department headquarters and back, chanting the name of each man followed by “not guilty!”

Police and prosecutors, however, have not wavered in their belief that the convicted men were involved in Monfils’ murder. Retired Detective Randy Winkler, who led the Green Bay Police Department’s investigation into the case, recently characterized Gullickson’s book and its claims that the men are innocent as “toilet paper.”

Monfils’ body was found in a pulp vat at the paper mill where he had worked for 10 years, a 45-pound weight around his neck. He died of suffocation and strangulation.

Prosecutors say the six men had confronted Monfils after Monfils told police that Kutska planned to steal electrical cable from the mill, and that one of the men struck Monfils in the head with a wrench or other blunt object. Jurors convicted the men in October 1995 after a six-week trial.

— dschneid@greenbaypressgazette.com and follow him on Twitter @PGDougSchneider.

Hotrod and Motorcycle Breakout Fundraiser (August 2, 2014)

The second annual “Hotrod and Motorcycle Breakout” benefit for the Minnesota Innocence Project was held on Saturday, August 2, 2014 and generated $2000 in cash donations. This year the event hosted approximately 100 classic cars and 500 spectators. Those numbers were nearly three times more than 2013’s totals. In addition to the scheduled speakers, many attendees were compelled to share their personal stories throughout the day creating an atmosphere filled with laughter, tears, and important awareness about the issue of wrongful convictions.

Speakers for the day included: Amy Tomczyk, interim Executive Director of the Minnesota Innocence Project; Steve Kaplan, the lead Attorney on the Wisconsin Monfils case; Michael Piaskowski, the Wisconsin exoneree of the Monfils Case; Denis Gullickson and John Gaie, co-authors of the book The Monfils Conspiracy; and Trudy Baltazar, a citizen advocate notable for her advocacy work in the Koua Fong Lee exoneration case of Minnesota.

Important sponsors that helped make the event possible: Gene Kohler, the owner of Route 65 Classics in Ham Lake, MN and Sue Stang, the General Manager, hosted the event (both years); Brad Slawson Sr. and Jr., owners of Route 65 Pub and Grub in East Bethel, MN, supplied the food and drinks and they attained sponsorship from Budweiser (who supplied us with two 4×8’ promotional banners). Kathy Sauvageau, who manages the Route 65 Pub and Grub bar and restaurant, assisted with organizing the pub’s participation and serving food. Chuck Brost, owner of Tunes to Go in Spring Lake Park, MN, provided entertainment through music and trivia. Christi Williams, owner of Grinkie Photography in Minneapolis, MN, documented the day through photos and promoted them on social media. Dahlke Trailer Sales in Fridley, MN donated and set up a large platform for the second year in a row for use as a stage.

Also in attendance from the Green Bay area were Shirley DeLorme, who hosts monthly Friends and Family meetings in Green Bay, WI for the families of the wrongfully convicted men of the Monfils Case and Clayton and Brenda Kutska, their son Mathew, and Brenda’s Mom Claire. The Kutskas are family members of one of the five innocent men.

For more information about the day read The Relevance of Making Each Day Count…