Steeds 44

8 06 2017





Sheriff Llewellyn E. Leall has arrested two men who have confessed to stealing sixteen horses from merchants and farmers located throughout much of Tuscumbia County.

Arrested: Philip X. Redman, deputy sheriff. Also arrested: Hanega, a native denizen of these lands and waters.

The two were taken into custody on June 21st by Sheriff Leall after an aerial search, made possible by balloonist Joshua Stollfus, revealed the location of most of the stolen horses. They had been hidden within a tract of virgin forest located on the south side of Fairview Lake.

Sheriff Leall, two days earlier, had recovered one stolen horse from Doylestown, south and west of Tuscumbia County. It had come as a welcome gift into the possession of Helen Vrechek, a school teacher, who did not know the horse had been illegally obtained and transferred.

When questioned, Redman asserted that, in every instance, the horses were taken to deliver them from gross neglect or abuse. Redman also asserted that the takings were his responsibility, and his alone. Hanega, according to Redman, assisted in curing and caring for the horses when put into his custody.

Shortly after escorting Redman and Hanega to Uttica, Sheriff Leall offered the citizens of Tuscumbia County, through the county board, his resignation. “I must accept some responsibility for the actions of Philip Redman,” Leall said. “He was my deputy.”

Edgar J. Easton, chairman of the county board of supervisors, has said, “We on the board do not consider Sheriff Leall in any way culpable for these crimes. At present, we do not endorse his offer of resignation.”

Sheriff Leall also said, “I cannot in good conscience continue with what would be considered normal proceedings in resolving crimes of grand theft. This is a case atypical of malfeasance. I wish to assist in the defense of these confessed horse thieves. I do not wish to assist in their prosecution and conviction in court. I believe, therefore, that I ought to evacuate my office.”

Sheriff Leall has confirmed that he did, out of his personal assets, post bail for Redman and Hanega. They are currently residing at the home of sheriff’s deputies Chester and Dorothy Oakley.

Chairman Easton said that, if the sheriff’s resignation becomes official, then the Governor of the State of Wisconsin will need to appoint an acting sheriff until a new election by county citizens occurs.

David K. Whitmore, of Metomen, has tendered to Redman and Hanega his services as attorney-at-law. Speaking on their behalf, he wishes the citizens of the county to become aware of the following statements.

All the horses are in better condition than they were when taken.

Neither Philip Redman nor Hanega have profited in any way from the taking of the horses.

Uttica’s two fire horses have been returned to the fire department after having been rescued from injury, or even death, as a result of responding to the fire at the Massey home and business.

The remaining fourteen horses have been recovered―again, in fine condition―and are available to their owners.

Willard Zik, a traveling salesman who lost his horse in Mascoutin, purchased a replacement from Jeffrey Rayner and left the county. His whereabouts are unknown. It is proposed that the Zik horse be offered to Adolph Kleindl in trade for the horse he lost. It is further proposed that the Kleindl horse be returned to Helen Vrechek.

It is proposed that Philip Redman and Hanega offer recompense to the victims of the takings in the way of providing, free of charge, lessons in horsemanship to all members of each household. These lessons would be taught at the victims’ places of residence or at a new equestrian academy, to be established at the farm of Ella and Clara Ladwig.

Elmer Villwock has offered all four of the horses he lost to the academy. One may be traded to Walter Stancil so his horse can retire. Another may be traded to the William Chesney family so their horse can retire. The other two may be employed in the teaching enterprise.

Terrence Allison has offered himself, members of his family, and his farm hand to become the first students of the academy.

Deputy Sheriff Charlemagne T. Carlisle will interview each of the victims to ascertain their opinions regarding the Whitmore proposals.

This newspaper solicits letters to George P. Hodges, editor, from citizens of the county in response to this report.





The End




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