Change of Venue Denied for Wickenhauser 21 Mar 13

District Judge Donald Spilseth has followed last week’s verbal denial of a change of venue with a written order in the case of Paul Anthony Wickenhauser, the 22-year-old Cokato man facing 15 felony charges for the triple fatal motor vehicle crash last summer east of Willmar.

The West Central Tribune reports the order was issued Tuesday in Kandiyohi County District Court. Spilseth has not yet ruled on other issues from the March 12th omnibus hearing, including motions to suppress the evidence of Wickenhauser’s blood tests, which showed that his blood-alcohol content was higher than the legal limit for driving in the state.

He faces felony criminal vehicular homicide or operation charges in the fatal motor vehicle crash Aug. 17 that killed 68-year-old Marta Stoffers of Atwater, her daughter-in-law, 40-year-old Michelle Hoffman of Eden Prairie, and Hoffman’s 8-year-old daughter Julia. The charges, plus a misdemeanor charge for open bottle, were filed after the three family members were killed in the head-on crash near where U.S. Highway 12 intersects with County Road 127. Hoffman’s 5-year-old son, Jason, was injured.