Oct 10, 1995, Monfils Homicide: Wiener testifies Pg 2
teSUEDITIOH A-2 A-2 A-2 Tuesday. October 10, 1995 Green Bay Press-Gazette Press-Gazette Press-Gazette From A-l A-l A-l Trial ing of Monfils disappearance. "I heard the name, and it was like a light went off in my head," he said. Having the memory return upset him so much that he cried, and he called the police, who brought him in for an interview, he said. Although Wiener said he was not drunk on May 15, 1993, he was taking anti- anti- anxiety medication that was not supposed to be taken with alcohol. But he was drinking Jim Beam and Coke. His co-worker co-worker co-worker and friend, David Webster, said he was with Wiener at the wedding reception and three times took him outside to calm him down because Wiener was crying and upset. Wiener was afraid of Basten in the weeks and months after Monfils' death even before Wiener remembered seeing him and Johnson near the vat. That fear caused Wiener to take a leave-of-absence leave-of-absence leave-of-absence leave-of-absence leave-of-absence from his job, although Wiener had been on anti-anxiety anti-anxiety anti-anxiety medication even before Monfils' death. Wiener said Basten had been indirectly threatening him after Monfils' death. Basten, who almost never came into Wiener's work area, started coming often shortly after police announced Monfils' death was a murder, Wiener said. "I'd call it harassment and stalking," stalking," Wiener said. Basten asked numerous questions questions about what Wiener had seen and what he had told police and he would constantly strike up conversations conversations about Monfils, Wiener testified. testified. Basten kept coming, sitting in different places in Wiener's work area and looking around, he said. "I assumed he was checking out the angles," Wiener said. Basten made statements like, "If I'd have killed him, I'd have dragged him down the road, or poisoned poisoned his food," Wiener said. Wiener said he took those statements statements as threats to himself. Webster also testified that Lab linliG Press-Gazette Press-Gazette Press-Gazette State crime lab analysts determined David Wiener's handwriting handwriting matches that of a supposed supposed "suicide note" in a phone book near Tom Monfils' paper machine at the mill. The note was written on the page on which Monfils was listed, and it stated, "I do not fear death for in death we seek life eternal." Some coworkers coworkers pointed to it as proof that Monfils had committed suicide. suicide. On Monday, Wiener denied writing the message and said, "Maybe somebody has the same chicken-scratching chicken-scratching chicken-scratching I have." Wiener was sentenced in May 1994 to 10 years in prison for Monfils trial Prosecutors say: On Nov. 10, 1992, Tom Monfils, a James River paper millworker, called Green Bay police to report that coworker coworker Keith Kutska planned to steal a mill extension cord. Kutska was suspended from work for five days after he refused to open his duffel bag for mill security guards alerted by police. Kutska got an audio tape copy of the police tip, identified the caller as Monfils and repeatedly played the tape for others at the mill. Kutska and others confronted Monfils at work Nov. 21, 1992, and one or more of them beat Monfils. His body was found the next day in a paper pulp vat. Defendants: Keith Kutska, Dale Basten, Mike Him, Mike Johnson, Rey Moore and Mike Basten showed extraordinary interest in the case and in Wiener's perception of it. "He asked me several times, 'What does your buddy know?' " Webster said. Wiener said Webster and he would take turns guarding the Wiener's killing his brother. The jury wasn't allowed to know why Wiener was in prison, only that he was convicted of a crime. Wiener said the state offered him no deals in exchange for his testimony. In fact, he was taken from a minimum-security minimum-security minimum-security setting and placed in a medium-maximum medium-maximum medium-maximum medium-maximum prison in Oshkosh, partly because he feels he is in danger for cooperating in the Monfils case. On the morning of Monfils' disappearance, Wiener saw a "bald spot" on the open-top open-top open-top vat and the splash guard near the edge. He explained that the vat's rim and splash guard normally are coated with white, from the splash of pulp being poured in, at a glance Questions? Do you have questions about the Tom Monfils trial or how the court system works during a trial? Call 436-7838 436-7838 436-7838 Monday through Saturday, and we'll find the answers. Piaskowski. Charge: First-degree First-degree First-degree intentional intentional homicide. All six defendants are charged with being party to that crime, a provision covering those who aid and abet the commission commission of a crime or take part in a conspiracy to commit a crime. Penalty: Life imprisonment. Source: Brown County court documents door with a knife while the other used the bathroom. And Wiener said he always kept an aluminum pipe handy while he worked to protect protect himself. At least twice, Judge James Bayorgeon admonished Wiener for blowing up at defense lawyer Nila handwriting but one area was wiped clean sis if something had been dragged along it. Monfils' body was found in the vat the next day. Wiener couldn't remember whether he told police about that early on, because "I didn't think a lot about it" James Wolford, who worked on the No. 5 paper machine with Randy Lepak, said the two searched for Monfils for about four hours after he was reported missing on Nov. 21, 1992. "After a while, we thought he had left the mill," Wolford said. Wolford also recalled Lepak worrying about Monfils returning returning to the mill with a weapon and attacking the workers who had confronted him. Jurors mindful of dress code in Titletown Press-Gazette Press-Gazette Press-Gazette When in Rome, do as the Romans do, and when in Green Bay, make sure you wear your Green Bay Packers sweatshirts. That's what most members of the jury panel in the Tom Monfils case did Monday. QL The 15-member 15-member 15-member panel, which will be reduced to 12 when deliberations start, is from Racine County. But even they know how to dress in a football town, especially on the day after a Packers-Cowboys Packers-Cowboys Packers-Cowboys game. It wasn't a unanimous verdict, however. Eight jurors wore Packers sweatshirts. Six wore nonpartisan nonpartisan clothing. And one brave soul wore a Dallas sweatshirt. Robinson, who represents Basten, during questioning. "Mrs. Robinson, if you don't know what you're talking about, don't ask questions," Wiener said when Robinson struggled to establish establish aspects of Wiener's work duties at the mill.