Hearing on motions for Ingold case delayed

District attorney takes leave due to health issues; ADA filling in needs time to review
Lee Pulaski
City Editor

Plans to present motions in the first-degree intentional homicide case for Michael E. Ingold had to be delayed after it was announced Shawano-Menominee County Assistant District Attorney Laura Nelson will have to prosecute the case due to District Attorney Greg Parker taking an unspecified leave due to health issues.

Ingold, 59, is being held at Shawano County Jail on a $1 million bond in the strangulation death of Sheila A. Laudon, who was 59 at the time of her death. He faces life in prison if convicted.

Nelson told the court during a Nov. 17 hearing that she only received the case two weeks ago. She said that when she became aware of Parker’s health issues, which were not revealed in court, she asked Shawano County Clerk of Courts Ethan Schmidt what other dates were available, and Dec. 5 and Dec. 11 had been made available for a motion hearing and final pre-trial hearing, respectively.

“I need time to review everything,” Nelson said. “I’ve done some work on the file … but I’m not prepared today to move forward on the motions.”

Nelson noted that the only other option was to dismiss the case without prejudice and start the process all over again. Ingold has been in custody since July 2022.

Defense attorney Julianne Lennon said she was unaware of Parker’s health issues when she replied to a motion to extend the time to file the DA’s motions and adjourn the Nov. 17 hearing, noting that the dates had been established after considerable effort to make sure attorneys and witnesses were available.

“The state did not call me and say Attorney Parker had health problems and were going to ask for an extension,” Lennon said.

Lennon said four officers had been subpoenaed to be present Nov. 17, many of them present at the hearing, and would have to be served again to be present on either Dec. 5 or Dec. 11.

A number of motions have been filed in the case that need to be sorted out, with Lennon noting that many of her motions have been “on file for a significant amount of time.” According to court records, one of those was from Lennon for a change of venue, and the prosecution had filed a response dated Nov. 15, but when Shawano-Menominee County Circuit Court Judge William Kussel Jr. asked Nelson if she could discuss any of the motions on file, she reiterated she could not.

The district attorney’s office filed a motion on Nov. 6 for forfeiture by wrongdoing, which applies to statements of absent witnesses. In this case, the witness is deceased.

Another DA motion requested the admission of prior bad acts involving Ingold and Laudon. Court records show that Ingold was arrested after a previous incident with Laudon on June 29, 2020. Ingold was charged in Waukesha County with strangulation and suffocation, second-degree recklessly endangering safety, battery and operating a firearm while intoxicated.

In that case, Ingold had allegedly strangled Laudon and threatened to kill her. Bail conditions restricted Ingold from having contact with the victim. Prosecutors said they could not locate her, and on Oct. 5, 2021, Waukesha County issued a witness warrant for the victim. The charges were dismissed in January, with prosecutors saying they could not proceed to trial.

Ingold allegedly told detectives that the two moved to Shawano County because he allegedly wanted to protect her, according to the new complaint.

Lennon objected to the DA’s motions, noting that the original deadline for motions was Oct. 2.

“You can’t extend something that has already lapsed,” Lennon said.

Other motions Lennon has filed, according to court records, include excluding designated testimony of one of the detectives and for underlying data, excluding prior statements from the deceased witness, excluding prior bad acts, and sealing Ingold’s statements at the time of emergency detention, as well as his statements to the Shawano County Sheriff’s Department in general.

Kussel granted the request for the motion hearings to be rescheduled for the two December dates, with Nelson and Lennon agreeing to discuss privately which motions would be addressed on which dates so Lennon could send revised subpoenas. Currently, Ingold is scheduled for a five-day trial beginning Jan. 8, 2024, in Shawano County Courthouse Branch 2.

A 57-year-old Shawano man is facing a charge of first-degree intentional homicide in relation to the death of a woman in the Town of Wescott on June 25.

During an initial appearance in Shawano County Circuit Court on Aug. 1, Judge William Kussel Jr. set bond for Michael E. Ingold at $1 million cash. If convicted, Ingold faces life in prison.

The criminal complaint states that at 4:13 a.m. June 25, the Shawano County Sheriff’s Department received a 911 call from Ingold, where he stated that he woke up and checked on his girlfriend, only to find her deceased.

An autopsy showed that Sheila A. Laudon, 59, was strangled to death.

Ingold told the deputies that he got home at 6:30 p.m., talked with the victim, turned on the television and fell asleep on the couch, the complaint said. He stated that he woke up around 2:30 a.m. and heard the victim in the kitchen saying that she was getting a beer. He then claimed that he woke up again at 4:01 a.m. and found her deceased in the bedroom.

Detectives received the autopsy report of the victim’s death on July 21, stating that the cause of death was manual strangulation.

On July 27, two detectives interviewed Ingold at the sheriff’s department, told Ingold that the victim died from strangulation and that the detectives believed that he caused it. Ingold responded, saying, “No it’s not, no it’s not, I didn’t touch her,” according to the complaint. Ingold acknowledged he and Laudon were the only two people in the house but continued to deny touching her, the complaint said.