Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Waukesha Authorities Looking Inept, Again, In Benson Repeat Arrest

You will remember that Mark Benson, the Oconomowoc physician charged in a high-profile multiple-homicide drunk driving crash last year, was at the time of the free on bail, thanks to a Waukesha County Circuit Court judge who did not incarcerate Benson immediately following his conviction.

Following the crash, and after several months in jail on the drunk-driving homicide charges, Benson was released on $500,000 bail.

Fair enough: he made bail, with strings attached.

Now we learn that Benson has been arrested again for possession of prescription drugs that violated the terms of the bail agreement.

His re-arrest came after a tip from a parcel delivery driver.

Searching Benson's residence, police also found six firearms, and 20,000-to-50,000 rounds of ammunition - - a separate bail violation because the agreement forbade him from possessing firearms.

Wait a minute: this is the address to which Waukesha officials allowed Benson to return.

Apparently, the authorities do not check records or conduct a thorough background investigation to see if a person in a homicide case is being bailed out to an address where firearms and a massive cache of ammunition - - and, as WTMJ-TV4 reported tonight, explosives.

Turns out that the some of the drugs that Benson obtained while out on bail were steroids.

Lots of steroids and nearly 200 syringes.

So let's add this up: Steroids. Six guns, explosives, and enough ammo to supply a small army, in the possession of a repeat OWI offender, facing homicide charges.

And a Waukesha judge set bail for the re-arrest offenses at $150,000.

Does that sound right?

Waukesha officials continue to have a casual attitude towards this defendant.

[Update: Benson's bail was raised another $500,000. Maybe the public outrage is having some effect.]

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