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Attorney Chris Van Wagner won an outright acquittal for his client, Robert Meng accused of murder and shocked the local community.

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Attorney Chris Van Wagner won an acquittal on all murder and attempted murder charges against Staton.

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Murder Charges Dropped

All Charges Dismissed

The trial of a woman accused of involvement in a 1979 Rusk County murder had her case dismissed Monday when a key witness indicated he would not testify because he may appeal his own murder conviction. Attorney Christopher Van Wagner defending.

Van Wagner's client was charged with conspiracy to commit first-degree murder and counts of perjury and false swearing at a grand jury inquiry. A trial on the perjury and false swearing counts was scheduled to begin next week.

My client is greatly relieved that this long trip is over, Van Wagner said, declining to elaborate.

Pakes on Monday requested Barron County Judge Edward Brunner dismiss the case, which he did.

Without said testimony, the prosecution can no longer pursue these charges with a good faith belief that it can obtain a conviction, Pakes wrote in her request to regretfully dismiss the charges.

To continue under such circumstances would be an ignominious endeavor, and an abuse of the States position.

In an interview later Monday, Pakes said:

In the big picture, the state is very satisfied with the outcome, and we feel like we have given the matter its utmost attention. I think weve given the family peace of mind. They know what happened to their loved one, they know the story and weve held everyone as accountable as we could. Its not the ending I was hoping for, but sometimes these things happen.

The family members could not be reached for comment.

Eau Claire attorney Steve Gibbs, who represented Rogers in his murder case, on Monday said he was stunned by the appellate idea.

Im totally surprised that he is changing his mind, Gibbs said. I had no idea that he had changed his mind until I got a letter from his new attorney.

Gibbs said he doesnt believe there is an appellate issue, in part because Rogers decided on his own to plead no contest to the charge.

His two brothers had confessed, and confessed against my advice, said Gibbs, who mentioned he had discussed the idea of plea negotiations or jury trial, but he was not interested.

Gibbs' client testified that he drove into the victim's driveway and shot him in the head from close range with a shotgun while his brothers waited nearby. Gibbs' client then hid the gun near his rural residence.

Gibb's client said he was requested by the district attorney at the time, and Van Wagner's client to kill the victim. The brother to Gibbs' client earlier told police to kill the victim's dogs while the victim was on vacation, and the victim was upset when he learned about those actions.

Gibbs' client reportedly believed a rumor that the victim had threatened to harm the brother to Gibbs' client and his family.

Eau Claire Leader-Telegram granted permission for reprint.
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Related Topics:
Attorney Christopher Van Wagner
Murder | First Degree Intentional Homicide | Grand Jury Proceedings