County Prosecutor requests Grand Jury review in Winona murder ca - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

COPY-County Prosecutor requests Grand Jury review in Winona murder case

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The Two men charged in a Winona homicide last month made an appearances in court Thursday.

23-year-old Lonnie Hudson and 18-year-old Reginald Burnett are both accused of barging into an apartment in Winona on October 18th, and demanding money from 31-year-old Adam Fort.

Hudson is accused of shooting Fort in the stomach and killing him. He faces five felony counts including second degree murder and firearms charges.

Burnett has been charged with four felony counts including aiding and abetting second degree murder.

The only way either of them could be charged in the 1st Degree is by a Grand Jury indictment, which the prosecution requested Thursday in court.

Prosecuting attorneys also requested a three-month extension on those proceedings, because much of the evidence, including the victim's autopsy, hasn't been completed.

“Just that extensive investigation, and it's ongoing in terms of the forensics with the gun that was allegedly involved, with the autopsy that hadn't been completed yet,” said Winona County Prosecutor Karin Sonneman.

Defense attorneys for Lonnie Hudson argued Thursday that putting the trial on the shelf for three months would violate his rights for a speedy trial.

A Grand Jury would be looking for probable cause to charge Hudson or Burnett differently than the criminal complaint. Even if a Grand Jury did not indict the two, they could still face the charges put forth in the complaint.

“The grand jury addresses probable cause, and the probable cause standard is not as high as what you would require for a trial, which is proof beyond reasonable doubt,” said Sonneman.

“Probable cause is more likely than not, so whether those items are absolutely necessary, again, that's up to the Grand Jury. They can ask to see whatever evidence,” said Sonneman.

Judge Jefferey Thompson will issue a decision Friday whether to grant the grand jury proceedings or the extension.

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