UPDATE: Tues 4:53 PM, Sept. 24, 2013
Charges against a Milwaukee man accused putting a sedative in a bartender's drink were dismissed by a judge after the prosecutor showed up late for court. They needed to be refiled, while the man is held on a cash bond.
Wood County District Attorney Craig Lambert said due to a scheduling conflict, the Assistant District Attorney failed to appear on time for the plea hearing for Michael Shanahan, 50. The judge then dismissed the charges against Shanahan.
The District Attorney tells NewsChannel 7 he's surprised the case was dismissed. "It's regrettable that that happened, and ultimately my responsibility to make sure that doesn't happen", Lambert said. "But we are a busy office and sometimes we're double-booked or triple-booked and we just can't get to court on time." Lambert said often times a judge will wait for a prosecutor to appear, or call the District Attorney's office to see why the prosecutor isn't in court, rather than dismiss the case.
According to the criminal complaint against Shanahan, surveillance video from the bar on Sept. 2 showed Shanahan moving toward the bartender's drink when she walked away. The video also reportedly shows Shanahan holding his hand over the drink for several minutes.
The woman reported feeling lightheaded and nauseated. She was transported to an area hospital. Toxicology showed she had Benzodiazepine in her system.
Lambert says the judge was able to reschedule a new initial appearance for Wednesday. He says they will refile the same charges against Lambert, and it will cause little change for his office. "It's certainly an inconvenience for the judge, and we're sorry about that", Lambert said.
ORIGINAL STORY: Thur 11:12 AM, Sept 19, 2013
A 50-year-old Milwaukee man accused of putting a sedative a Wisconsin Rapids bartender's drink is due in court next week and is scheduled to enter a plea.
According to the criminal complaint, officers were dispatched to Riverview Hospital on Sept. 2 for the reported of a woman who may have been drugged. The woman reported feeling dizzy, nauseated, and lightheaded.
The woman said she was working at a bar in Wisconsin Rapids and allowed a patron to buy her a drink. The woman said she mixed the drink herself, and put in very little alcohol. The woman left her drink unattended to deal with a work-related issue. She she returned and noticed the patron, identified as Michael Shanahan sitting next to her drink. The woman noted the drink tasted sweeter.
Toxicology showed the woman had a Benzodiazepine in her system. She also had a BAC of 0.00.
According to the criminal complaint, surveillance video showed when the woman walked away Shanahan moved near the woman's drink and placed his hand over it for several minutes.
Shanahan will return to court on Sept. 24 for a plea hearing.
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