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In a rare move, La Crosse County Circuit Judge Todd Bjerke more than tripled the prosecution’s recommended cash bond for repeat drug offender Aric Elmore, setting bond at $50,000 during Elmore’s Wednesday appearance in court.

Aric Elmore

Elmore

Elmore, 43, of La Crosse, appeared for a bond hearing on preliminary charges of three counts of delivery of controlled substances, both heroin and cocaine, after being arrested Tuesday at a residence on the 1000 block of State Street along with Homer Taylor and April Berzinski.

A criminal complaint has not yet been filed.

At the time of the arrest, Elmore was out on four years of probation after Judge Elliott Levine stayed a prison sentence in September. The decision drew criticism from Police Chief Ron Tischer, who in a Sept. 23 column in the La Crosse Tribune cited Elmore’s history of fighting with officers, battery and disorderly conduct, as well as violating a restraining order, bail jumping, possession of a firearm and drug crimes.

“Past practice predicts future behavior,” Tischer wrote. “Officers will arrest him again.”

Prosecutor Jessica Skemp requested a $15,000 cash bond Wednesday, along with testing for controlled substances and no contact with Taylor and Berzinski, noting Elmore’s “lengthy history of bond violations and a disregard for justice support services conditions.”

“We think he’s a clear risk to not appear in the future,” Skemp said.

Public defender Tom LaConte agreed to the terms but requested a signature bond or a cash bond of $1,000 or less, noting, “Mr. Elmore is indigent. There’s no way he can post $15,000.”

Judge Bjerke, stating he took note of Elmore’s indigence, set a cash bond of $50,000, leading Laconte to question if he heard the figure correctly.

“Yes, $50,000 — five zero, zero, zero, zero,” Bjerke said. “They don’t get what they ask for. They don’t get what they ask for all the time.”

As a woman in the court stood and sobbed, Elmore shouted “Call my lawyer; call my lawyer,” and struggling briefly with an officer, telling him to shut up as he was led out of the courtroom.

Elmore is set to return to court at 2 p.m. Friday.


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Emily Pyrek can be reached at emily.pyrek@lee.net.

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General assignment reporter

Emily Pyrek covers human interest stories, local events and anything involving dogs for the La Crosse Tribune. She is always interested in story ideas and can be contacted at emily.pyrek@lee.net.

(8) comments

BichonFrise

Lock him up and throw away the key!!

Whatup Dog

I thought this was a story about Danny Glover judging by the picture.

DaisyL

Why is he even given bond. Drug dealers never have a problem coming up w/cash to bail out. His supplier wants him out selling, easy peasy for these kind of people.

Jobaba

Some people like to pay for prisons, others don't. If the system is set up to give people a chance and reduce the prison population, good! Obviously this guy couldn't take a good deal when offered. So now off to the pokey with him.

LaCrosseTaxPayer

Could it be Bjerke is figuring out that all the lacrosse judges will all be in the unemployment line if they keep up slapping the fingers of these criminals? The tax payers have to wonder if these judges are on the take or just that stupid leaving these people out with little to no consequences! We the people are voters and must remember the judges that don’t keep us safe by not putting dangerous or repeat offenders behind bars for a long time,. We are watching the judges NOT doing their jobs protecting us!

Buena Vista

I've said it once and I'll say it again....In my opinion the judges of La Crosse do a fine job. I will vote for all of them again and again. - When I messed up, I appreciated the chance they gave me to 'straighten up' and I took that opportunity as a gift. Problem is, not many seem to want to turn their lives around after sentencing. The guy in this article ain't gettin' it. I have no sympathy for him.

Jobaba

So the system works despite the frustrations of the Chief. The wheels of justice grind slowly on without removing anyone's rights. My my.

LaCrosseCampers

He was armed when they arrested him last time for dealing. We are all just darn lucky he didn't take anyone out before being taken seriously by this judge.

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