A Sparta man accused of spiking a woman’s drink at a La Crosse restaurant was fined Wednesday after pleading no contest to a felony stalking charge.
William Williams will pay $1,158 as part of a deal in which prosecutors in two counties agreed to dismiss 10 other charges.
According to criminal complaints, Williams, 71, was dining at Piggy’s restaurant on July 7, 2016, when another customer saw him put something in his companion’s water glass while she was in the restroom. Investigators questioned him when he returned to the restaurant the following month, and Williams denied touching her glass, which had tested positive for the sedative Trazodone.
Later that night, Sparta police arrested Williams after he went to the woman’s home. They found loaded handguns, ammunition, knives, rope and handcuffs in his car.
The woman, described as a family friend, told police Williams made unwanted sexual passes and would frequently drive past her home.
In October, Monroe County authorities charged him with seven counts of stalking, as well as harassment and intimidation of a victim, for his actions that night and on subsequent dates in 2017 when the woman reported seeing Williams sitting in his truck at a Sparta convenience store every morning and afternoon as she drove to and from work.
Prosecutors said they agreed to the deal, under which they recommended no jail or probation, after consulting with the woman.
“The victim felt a felony conviction was important so the defendant can no longer carry guns,” said La Crosse County Assistant District Attorney Courtney Stritmatter. “That is what the main concern was.”
Williams entered an Alford plea in which he maintained his innocence but conceded that a jury would likely convict him based on the evidence. His attorney said he didn’t put anything in her drink, that the rope and handcuffs in his car were from his work as a reserve police officer, and that he had other reasons for being in the places the victim saw him.
“It’s mere coincidence,” said John Matousek.
Judge Elliott Levine said the fine was appropriate given Williams’ age, health and lack of criminal history, though he said his behavior scared the victim.
“It’s always very difficult, especially in a stalking where an individual can’t really see it, even though there’s a whole bunch of charges here,” Levine said.
Matousek read aloud from a letter that Williams wrote to the victim but was unable to send because of a four-year restraining order. Williams himself made only a brief statement.
“There’s nothing right now I can say. It’s too emotional for me. Only that I still have a hard time accepting all of this,” Williams said. “The loss of a friendship means more to me than — after 10 years, it tears me apart.”
La Crosse County Circuit Court felony cases in May
Samuel Becker, 26, of Holmen was charged May 31 with possession of narcotic drugs, an illegally obtained prescription and drug paraphernalia. Becker had 2.4 grams of heroin, a prescription drug and a digital scale on Monday, according to the complaint.
Robert Wheelock, 60, of 1436 Kane St., was charged May 31 with first-degree child sexual assault and exposing genitals. Wheelock made a 7-year-old touch his genitals in June 2015, according to the complaint.
Zane Hart and John Lattimore
Jesse Kirk, 39, of Tomah was charged May 30 with felony bail jumping, attempted misdemeanor retail theft and misdemeanor bail jumping. Kirk violated his bonds May 22 by trying to leave Farm and Fleet with a cart full of unpaid items, according to the complaint.
Robert D. Wilson
Michael Clemmer, 41, of Onalaska was charged May 24 with fourth-offense operating while intoxicated and with a prohibited alcohol concentration. Clemmer drove Monday after drinking alcohol, according to the complaint.
Adrian Fischer, 45, of Holmen was charged May 24 with strangulation and two counts each of misdemeanor battery and disorderly conduct. Fischer chocked, kneed and punched a woman on May 11, according to the complaint.
Jerrell Peterson, 23, of Holmen was charged May 24 with felony bail jumping and disorderly conduct. Peterson violated his bond Wednesday by hitting a woman, according to the complaint.
Frank Lewis and Kymberly Cole
Felicia Mott, 24, of Holmen, was charged May 22 with possession of methamphetamine and felony bail jumping. According to a complaint, Mott had a syringe of meth when she was arrested on a warrant May 4.
Dominique Gordon, 19, of Milwaukee and three others were charged May 18 with possession with intent to deliver THC, maintaining a drug trafficking place and possession of drug paraphernalia, all as party to the crime. Police found the group inside 513 Ferry St. on May 7, along with 17 grams of marijuana and a digital scale, according to the complaint.
Robert Patterson, 18, of 513 Ferry St., and three others were charged May 18 with possession with intent to deliver THC, maintaining a drug trafficking place and possession of drug paraphernalia, all as party to the crime. Police found the group inside 513 Ferry St. on May 7, along with 17 grams of marijuana and a digital scale, according to the complaint.
Philip Ramos, 37, of Denver, Colo., was charged Friday with fourth-offense operating while intoxicated and with a prohibited alcohol concentration. Ramos drove Thursday with a 0.13 percent preliminary alcohol level, according to the complaint.
Dana Krueger and Harley Marrujo
Kimberly Kelleher, 18, of Onalaska was charged May 15 with possession of meth, obstructing an officer and possession of drug paraphernalia. Kelleher lied to police about a woman's whereabouts before officers found her with meth and a pipe on May 4, according to the complaint.
Candice Vincent, 42, of Taylor, Wis., was charged May 10 with felony bail jumping and possession of drug paraphernalia. Vincent violated her bond April 25 by having a socket used to smoke marijuana, according to the complaint.
Markus Ward, 23, of Sparta, was charged May 9 with possession of meth and misdemeanor bail jumping. Ward violated his bond Tuesday by having 1.4 grams of meth, according to the complaint.
Gary Cook III
Gary Cook III, 31, of Onalaska was charged May 9 with possession of narcotic drugs and misdemeanor retail theft. Cook stole merchandise from Shopko in la Crosse and had a mixture of heroin and fentanyl on Dec. 28, according to the complaint.
Travis Weiss, 44, of 226 N. 23rd St., was charged May 8 with strangulation, substantial battery and disorderly conduct. Weiss strangled a woman and struck her with a shoe on April 21, according to the complaint.
Sai Kue, 29, of 912 Cameron Ave., was charged May 8 with possession of meth, THC and drug paraphernalia, all as party to the crime. Police found meth, marijuana and a pipe in her shared bedroom on April 20, according to the complaint.
Frank Brown, 41, of 516 S. Fifth Ave., was charged May 4 with third-offense operating while intoxicated and with a restricted controlled substance in blood and possession of meth and drug paraphernalia. Brown told police he smoked meth and drank one beer before driving on April 13, according to the complaint. Police also found meth and a pipe in his car.
Chris Hubbuch can be reached at 608-791-8217. Follow him on Twitter @chrishubbuch.