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Chippewa County DA explains challenges of high-profile cases

Chippewa County (WQOW)- There have been a number of high profile cases recently in Chippewa County that have even caught national attention.

News 18 spoke with the Chippewa County district attorney to find out what it’s like to work on prominent cases

Last November, three Girl Scouts and a mother were killed while picking up roadside litter.

Prosecutors said Colten Treu was huffing a can of air duster when his truck went off the road and hit the Girl Scout troop.

He’s since been charged with 10 felonies including four counts of homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle, and four counts of hit and run resulting in death.

District Attorney Wade Newell said working on a case like this involves a lot of time and manpower.

Nearly everyone in his office has had a hand in the prosecution, and they’ve worked closely with law enforcement on the case.

He said his office spends more time on high-profile cases because there are constant updates within the investigation.

He said there are typically more expert reports and crime lab results, as well as scene reconstruction.

“So if it’s a crash, then you have like they refer to it as crash reconstruction, but they’re all scene reconstruction,” Newell said. “The Wisconsin State Patrol will come out and essentially plot the whole scene as to what occurred.”

Newell said having this crash reconstruction helps him see the bigger picture so he can relay what happened to the jury better.

He said he’d like to put this much effort in every case not just high-profile cases, but with the limited resources that he has, he’s forced to focus on cases the community believes are more important. He added everyone deserves justice.

Colten Treu is scheduled to be back in court in early September.

Shannon Satterlee

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