UPDATE: Jury picked in jury re-trial - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

COPY-UPDATE: Jury picked in Chritton re-trial


MADISON (WKOW) -- A jury was picked Monday for the re-trial of Chad Chritton on charges connected to his teenage daughter's confinement to a basement, and alleged starvation.

The 42-year old Chritton was convicted of felony child neglect in March, but jurors could reach no decision on four other felony charges, including child abuse and false imprisonment.

Jurors were picked after they were asked about their experiences with home schooling, blended families, mental health treatment, post-traumatic stress disorder and other issues. At the time Chritton's 15-year old daughter was discovered in the winter of 2012 weighing less than seventy pounds, she was being home-schooled, and Chritton maintained her mental health problems contributed to her condition.

In a plea bargain, the girl's stepmother, Melinda Drabek-Chritton, was convicted of a single felony charge, and sentenced to five years in prison.

Chad Chritton has remained free on bond in connection with his felony conviction. Last month, court records show Chritton rejected a proposed plea agreement involving prosecutors asking a judge for more than ten years in prison for Chritton.

Former deputy Dane County district attorney Tim Verhoff tells 27 News prosecutors often reach out to the members of hung juries, as they decide whether to mount a re-trial.

"You contact the prior jurors to find out what was in that jury room that led to the result that was achieved," Verhoff says.

"The jurors are not obligated to talk to the lawyers, but many people do. And so I think the prosecutors get a read on what was the weakness of the case," Verhoff tells 27 News.

Chritton's re-trial is scheduled to begin Tuesday at 8:30 a.m.


MADISON (WKOW) – Jury selection begins on Monday in the re-trial of a Madison man accused of starving and locking his daughter in a basement.

In April, Chad Chritton was convicted of felony child neglect but the jury couldn't agree on four other child abuse-related charges.  Chritton maintained throughout the trial that his then 15-year-old daughter had mental health issues.

Chritton's wife, Melinda Drabek-Chritton, is serving five years in prison for her role in the case.

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