Oct 4, 1995, Monfils Homicide: Monfils Widow describes search pg 2
Monfils When Monfils still didn't turn up that night, she dropped the kids off with his parents and started searching herself. She made a two-hour two-hour two-hour round trip to their cottage in Pound, checked their rental property on Cherry Street and checked at Bellin Hospital and Bellin's psychiatric center but found no trace of him. She even checked his 1957 Chevrolet in their garage. Then she drove to the mill. She briefly considered climbing over a fence, but instead drove past the guardhouse with her car lights off, slammed the brakes on and ran into the mill, leaving her keys and purse inside her car. In the mill, she hid against a wall for a few minutes before being spotted by a forklift operator. She made her way to the paper machine area and found then-union then-union then-union president Marlin Charles. The two talked and looked inside and outside the mill, including Monfila' locker. She remembers a feeling of relief aftei1 finding his key ring not there. "I felt that if Tom had his keys, then he was fine. He'd just be coming coming home and he'd walk in the door and tell me what was going on." She left the mill early the morning morning of Nov. 22. Later that day, she went to police to ask them how she could continue searching. Instead, she learned her husband was dead. Jurors may still hear from former union president Workers detail day of slaying Press-Gazette Press-Gazette Press-Gazette Tom Monfila' last day alive was punctuated by events that broke into the routines at the James River paper mill. Two millworkers testified Tuesday about what they found out of the ordinary that day, as prosecutors continued trying to link six defendants to events surrounding surrounding Monfils' disappearance and death. But both Connie Jones and Pat Perraro found it difficult to supply supply times, names and details. Jones' rounds included going to the control booth for the No. 9 paper machine to take numbers from a computer. She found a half-dozen half-dozen half-dozen workers listening to a tape of a man telling police , that Kutaka planned to steal a mill extension cord. Jones asked whose voice it was, and Kutska pointed out Monfils, who was in the paper machine area. i Ferraro, who was working as a supervisor that day, testified that defendant Mike Pikskowski paged Ferraro to report Monfils off the job. One worker who searched for Monfils was Randy lLepak, who said he feared Monfils might return to the mill with a gun, Ferraro said. Other tijillworkers testified Lepak went wjth Kutska to confront Monfils with the tape. Charles He wouldn't testify Tuesday Tuesday's highlights Millworker Don Boulanger testified he recalled seeing coworker coworker Jon Mineau near a bubbler the morning Tom Monfils was reported missing on the job after Boulanger was questioned by mill officials. Prosecutors say in a trial brief that a "final confrontation" between co-workers co-workers co-workers and Monfils happened there sometime that morning. Mineau is not charged in the case. Mineau stopped by Bou-langer's Bou-langer's Bou-langer's house to talk about the case after Mineau was suspended from work earlier this year, Boulanger said. Lab worker Connie Jones testified testified defendant Keith Kutska played for her and others a tape of Monfils telling police Kutska planned to steal a mill extension cord. Jones said she left the control room where the tape was being played because she didn't want to be in that angry atmosphere. Jones said she passed Monfils that morning on her rounds and he seemed troubled and pensive. Police detective Randy Winkler Winkler "insinuated" that defendant Rey Moore may have paid her for "covering him" during her pretrial testimony, but Jones was able to prove a large out-of-state out-of-state out-of-state out-of-state out-of-state check she received was actually from an inheritance, she said. Pat Ferraro, who filled in as a supervisor that day, testified he and others searched the mill for Monfils after defendant Mike Piaskowski reported him missing and the Monfils family said he wasn't wasn't home. Workers went to cut the lock off Monfils' work locker to see if his keys were inside. They didn't find the keys but found the front door of the locker was unfastened from the frame, Ferraro testified. The locker also had a self-adhesive self-adhesive self-adhesive self-adhesive label with the word "traitor" written on it, he said. Former union president Marlin Charles took the stand briefly, but his lawyer said Charles would invoke his right not to incriminate himself. Judge James Bayorgeon ruled a videotape of Monfils' body being taken from the vat is admissible. Some defense lawyers argued the video is so gruesome, it would serve only to inflame jurors. By Anne Klemm Press-Gazette Press-Gazette Press-Gazette Jurors in the Tom Monfils homicide homicide trial may get to hear former union president Marlin Charles talk about the case, even though he wouldn't testify Tuesday. But a judge s ruling about his possible testimony testimony opens the door to Charles answering some questions. Prosecutors called Charles to the stand Tuesday but his lawyer, Dean Strang, said he advised Charles to invoke his right not to incriminate himself. Charles sat on the stand for a few minutes and said nothing. After court, Strang said he advised Charles not to talk because of worries that prosecutors prosecutors might use the testimony to issue new criminal charges, valid or not. Brown County District Attorney John Zakowski said later that he won't grant Charles or anyone anyone else immunity in the case. Charles faced a misdemeanor blackballing charge related to the case but ent&ad nA eantesf 'pleas to less serious, noncriminal offenses offenses in a plea agreement in July. Charles also resigned as a union leader as a result. Prosecutors said Charles harassed Monfils and lied to an officer investigating the case. A court document in that case says Charles told Keith Kutska to get witnesses when confronting Monfils with a tape of Monfils telling police Kutska planned to steal a mill extension cord. While acting as union president, he also told Kutska to lie about having stolen the mill extension cord to have a better chance of keeping his job, those court documents documents say. Charles has denied lying to police. Defense lawyers fought to be allowed to ask Charles questions, saying he safely could answer questions questions that would show their clients' innocence. Judge James Bayorgeon ruled Charles could refuse to answer questions if those answers would incriminate him. If that happens, prosecutors may use Charles' earlier earlier statements to authorities to get evidence before the jury, Charles will have to respond if his answers wouldn't tend to incriminate him, Bayorgeon ruled. That ruling left Zakowski and other prosecutors scrambling Tuesday to give the judge materials materials to show what part of Charles' testimony likely would incriminate him. They had hoped to call Charles to the stand this morning, but Zakowski said the ruling left them in a "state .of flux." Charles has been fired from the James River mill, although the company wouldn't comment on that. Strang also wouldn't comment, comment, and Charles didn't speak to reporters. ( Correction t MONEY: A property transfer was wrong Wednesday due to incorrect incorrect information pi3vided to the Press-Gazette. Press-Gazette. Press-Gazette. Jeffr y W. and Carol J. Tigges sold property at 2070 Norfield Road to James W. and Kristin M. Kruager for $153,300. The Press-Gazette Press-Gazette Press-Gazette corrects fac-. fac-. fac-. tual errors promptly and courteously. courteously. If you have a correction or clarification, please call the metro desk at 431-8341. 431-8341. 431-8341. PWty'