Prosecutors Say Sandra Teichow Photographed Killer, Wilbert Thomas, As She Lay Dying/ Sentenced to 12 months in the hospital to try to regain competency to stand trial.

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Normal Prosecutors Say Sandra Teichow Photographed Killer, Wilbert Thomas, As She Lay Dying/ Sentenced to 12 months in the hospital to try to regain competency to stand trial.

Post by NiteSpinR on Wed Oct 20, 2010 12:15 am

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RACINE, WI. -- Police say a digital photograph taken by a murder victim prior to her death helped them track down the person they believe is responsible for her death.

Wilbert Thomas is now charged in the murder of 67-year old Sandra Teichow.

Thomas, 65, is a registered sex offender with an extensive criminal background.

The criminal complaint indicates Teichow may have been assaulted and beaten to death.

It also says one of two photos in Teichow's camera showed her alleged attacker walking from the camera wearing blue jeans, a black jacket with a lime green collar and black shoes.

The individual had white hair and was walking with a silver cane.

When investigators reviewed the photos in Teichow's camera, one of them indicated they knew the person in the photo as being Wilbert Thomas.

The complaint also indicates that Teichow had mentioned to her hairdresser that she was going to be passing out $100 in quarters to needy people at a laundromat in Racine just to be nice.

Loose quarters were found where Teichow was found dead.

Thomas was out on bond for failing to register as a sex offender.
He's now charged with first degree intentional homicide, theft from a person or corpse, and two counts of felony bail jumping.

If convicted, he faces up to life in prison.

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Normal Man accused of killing Racine woman convicted of rape in 1991 Wilbert Thomas served eight years for 1991 rape case

Post by Nama on Wed Oct 20, 2010 12:33 am

Before a horrific deed miles outside of a Racine laundromat, surveillance inside reveals a good deed. 67-year-old Sandra Teichow handed out quarters to those in need. Teichow's body was later discovered in a wooded area on October 14th.

Investigators believe she was beaten, and strangled by 65-year-old Wilbert Thomas. Racine County District Attorney Michael Nieskes was a prosecutor on a 1991 second degree sexual assault case. The defendant was then 47-year-old Wilbert Thomas.

Thomas was accused and convicted of trying to rape a woman at a bar. Nieskes says, "He was given a prison sentence of eight years at the time...We've always viewed Mr.Thomas as a dangerous individual."

During a psychological evaulation court documents described him as having mixed personality disorder. Those records describe a 1965 offense where Thomas had "indecent liberties with a 9-year-old."

Before his 1997 release prosecutors tried to file a petition to institutionalize Thomas under the state's sexually violent persons act. Thomas says, "The Department of Corrections and the Department of Justice decided that he[Thomas] wasn't qualified to be committed."

Nieskes said Thomas' psychological testing fell short of institutionalization on the state's accessment. County doctors and prosecutors disagreed, and the legal differences would eventually end up in the State Supreme Court.

Despite reapplying for Thomas to be separated from the public Nieskes says by the time a successful attempt could be completed prosecutors were already past the legal deadline. "I can't say the system failed. This is how it's desinged. Would I have preferred Wilbert Thomas to be committed? Yes."

Now prosecutors are focused on the death of a Racine woman, believing Thomas took more than just quarters from her. If convicted, Wilbert Thomas will face life in prison.

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Normal New Details On Suspect In Good Samaritan Murder

Post by Nama on Wed Oct 20, 2010 12:34 am

Police believe repeat sex offender Wilbert Thomas beat Sandra Teichow, strangled her, and left her body in the woods. The question now is, why was Thomas a free man?

Thomas has three sexual assault convictions going back more than 45 years. In a 1991 case, he allegedly assaulted a bartender. TODAY’S TMJ4 obtained dozens of letters Thomas wrote while in jail during that trial.

In one, he admits saying, “I’d physically assaulted her,” but he claims, “It had been initiated by her.”

So how did Thomas end up a free man again? After he served his sentence, prosecutors tried to get Thomas locked away indefinitely, saying he was a danger to society. But the effort was unsuccessful.

“I believe in 1997, the Department of Corrections and the Department of Justice were wrong in not considering him a sexually violent person,” said Racine County District Attorney Michael Nieskes, who prosecuted Thomas in 1991.

In another attempt by prosecutors in 1999, a psychiatrist wrote there was a “substantial probability” Thomas would sexually assault someone again, and a judge agreed. However, an appeals court later overturned the decision, saying the paperwork had been filed three days too late, since Thomas’ incarceration had concluded.

“So, we were left with no recourse but having the matter dismissed. But we decided we had to make the effort,” Nieskes said.

Thomas has been free for the last several years, and court records show he hasn’t reported his location to the sex offender registry in the last year.

Even if Thomas had been locked up indefinitely, he might still be a free man today. The courts have let some long-term commitment offenders go when they reach old age. Thomas is 65.

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Normal Re: Prosecutors Say Sandra Teichow Photographed Killer, Wilbert Thomas, As She Lay Dying/ Sentenced to 12 months in the hospital to try to regain competency to stand trial.

Post by Nama on Wed Oct 20, 2010 12:36 am

Sandra Teichow may have been the anonymous Christmas donor who restored Elizabeth King's faith in people.
King and an employee of the Salvation Army, 1901 Washington Ave., both saw the anonymous woman who handed out $20 bills to people waiting in the packed social services offices of the Salvation Army in December. Both say the woman looked like Teichow.
"That's her," said King, 44, of Racine, when she saw a photograph of Teichow from recent news coverage of the 67-year-old Lake Geneva woman's death. "This really looks like her. That's what I remember."
Cindy Nelson, 46, was working in the Salvation Army office the morning of Dec. 8 when a blonde woman came in to drop off bags full of toy donations. The woman returned a short time later and began handing out money to the people waiting for food vouchers.
Nelson said the woman looked a lot like a photograph of Teichow, but said she couldn't be 100 percent sure.
The Journal Times spoke to both King and Nelson the day the anonymous woman gave out the $20 bills and published a story about the Christmas cheer her generosity brought to those at the Salvation Army.
King, who is disabled, was waiting in the Salvation Army's office at 1901 Washington Ave. the morning the woman walked in and began handing out $20 bills to everyone and telling them, "Merry Christmas."
King said she hugged the woman and thanked her. She said she got a good look at her and believes it was Teichow.
"She touched my heart that day to realize there are still good people out there," King said. "She left a mark on me. I still think about it. It makes me smile."
According to those who knew Teichow, she was an incredibly generous person and an international humanitarian who traveled the world to teach and give in Third World countries. On Thursday, the day Teichow's body was found in a wooded area south of the intersection of West Sixth Street and Mound Avenue, police said she was planning to get $100 worth of quarters and hand them out at a laundromat.
Wilbert Thomas, 65, of 1004 Grand Ave., was charged Monday with first-degree intentional homicide, theft from person or corpse and two counts of felony bail jumping, for allegedly killing Teichow. According to the criminal complaint, Teichow snapped a photograph of Thomas the day she was killed, leading police to arrest him.
Some of the quarters Teichow apparently planned to give out to those in need were found at the homicide scene and in a jar in Thomas' apartment, reports said.
"This is sad," King said. "You can't even help people anymore."
King said she remembers looking at the Christmas donor at the Salvation Army and thinking, "She could be out doing a million other things."
But she chose to spend her time giving to others.
At the time, King told The Journal Times, "She's an angel or something."

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Normal Prayer vigil to be held for victim in Racine slaying

Post by Nama on Wed Oct 20, 2010 12:37 am

The Racine Interfaith Coalition will hold a candlelight prayer vigil for homicide victim Sandra Teichow at 6 p.m. Thursday in the area of 6th St. and Memorial Drive Ave., where Teichow was found dead last week.

The Rev. Tony Larsen will lead the service.

Wilbert L. Thomas, 65, a registered sex offender, was charged Monday with Teichow's slaying.

Teichow's body was found in a yard in the 1300 block of W. 6th St. shortly after 4 p.m. Oct. 14 by a resident who then called police, according to the Racine Police Department and a criminal complaint filed in the case.

Thomas became a suspect in the slaying after police found a photo of him on Teichow's digital camera. The smashed camera was found on Teichow's body, according to the criminal complaint.

Teichow, 67, of Lake Geneva was in Racine to do charity work after an appointment for a haircut. She told her stylist that she planned to hand out $100 in quarters at a Laundromat to people in need, according to the complaint.

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Normal Re: Prosecutors Say Sandra Teichow Photographed Killer, Wilbert Thomas, As She Lay Dying/ Sentenced to 12 months in the hospital to try to regain competency to stand trial.

Post by Nama on Wed Oct 20, 2010 12:38 am

A picture of a man, taken by Sandra Teichow of Lake Geneva just before her death, lead Racine police to the 65 year old man now charged with her murder. Wilbert Thomas was formally charged Monday with first degree intentional homicide and theft. His bond was set at $250,000 although his attorney said he was unable to post any amount. Thomas will return to court October 27th for a preliminary hearing.

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Normal Wilbert Thomas

Post by Nama on Wed Oct 20, 2010 12:41 am


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Normal Rest in Peace, Sandra

Post by Nama on Wed Oct 20, 2010 12:43 am


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Normal Re: Prosecutors Say Sandra Teichow Photographed Killer, Wilbert Thomas, As She Lay Dying/ Sentenced to 12 months in the hospital to try to regain competency to stand trial.

Post by Wrapitup on Wed Oct 20, 2010 8:47 am

Wilbert Thomas is scary looking!!! Why would he kill her? She seemed like such a nice person. How many people take $100 in quarters and dole them out? My goodness..this is tragic!

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Normal Years ago a doctor warned the court not to let Wilbert Thomas go free

Post by Nama on Thu Oct 21, 2010 12:08 am



A Racine man with a rap sheet is now accused of killing a woman and leaving her body in the woods. Years ago a doctor warned the court not to let Wilbert Thomas go free. The man who probed the mind of Wilbert Thomas talks to FOX6 about what he found.

Sometime after handing out quarters at a Racine laundromat last Thursday Sandra Teichow was beaten and strangled.

65-year-old Wilbert Thomas is described by investigators as the man responsible for the murder of Teichow. A forensic psychiatrist who interviewed him in 1997 describes Thomas in different terms.

Dr. George Palermo testified in the case of serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer. He was also part of Racine's effort to institutionalize Thomas through Wisconsin's Sexually Violent Persons Act. Thomas was convicted of a 1991 attempted rape, and court documents described a 1965 offense where he had "indecent liberties with a 9-year-old girl".

Palermo and Racine County prosecutors determined Thomas was unfit to be free and in need of treatment. Psychological testing fell short of institutionalization by the state's assessment.

The differences in opinion would eventually take the matter to the state supreme court. By the time a successful attempt could be completed, prosecutors were already past the legal deadline.

Some believe even if Thomas was institutionalized back in the late 1990's, he would be out by now. They believe Thomas would probably still be the prime suspect in the murder of Sandra Teichow. Palermo disagrees with that theory. He says, "I believe if he were institutionalized we could be pretty sure that he would be there."

Dr. Palermo says Racine County did everything in its power to protect the public. He's hoping this serves as a wake up call for all agencies dealing with violent offenders with mental health issues.

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Normal Re: Prosecutors Say Sandra Teichow Photographed Killer, Wilbert Thomas, As She Lay Dying/ Sentenced to 12 months in the hospital to try to regain competency to stand trial.

Post by Nama on Thu Oct 21, 2010 12:12 am



Since her murder, we’ve heard so much about how 67-year old Sandra Teichow gave to others. Now, we’re seeing it with out own eyes.

A surveillance video taken at a Racine Laundromat caught her last generous act just hours before her life was taken.

The video shows generosity you rarely see. In it, Teichow is seen handing out $100 worth of quarters to strangers at the Coin Laundry at 20th and Taylor in Racine. Investigators believe within hours of the video, repeat sex offender Wilbert Thomas killed Teichow and stole the quarters.
It’s still not known when Teichow met Wilbert Thomas. He doesn’t appear on the surveillance video. But investigators say Teichow took a photo of her attacker during the attack, and that photo led them to Thomas.

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Normal Sandra Teichow

Post by Nama on Thu Oct 21, 2010 12:16 am

This 2009 family photos shows Sandra and Dennis Teichow with their grandchildren.




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Normal Re: Prosecutors Say Sandra Teichow Photographed Killer, Wilbert Thomas, As She Lay Dying/ Sentenced to 12 months in the hospital to try to regain competency to stand trial.

Post by Wrapitup on Thu Oct 21, 2010 2:41 am

OMG, this is so sad!! And, Thomas looks like a madman!! Hell, he IS a madman!!!!!!!!! :jaw dropping:

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Normal Re: Prosecutors Say Sandra Teichow Photographed Killer, Wilbert Thomas, As She Lay Dying/ Sentenced to 12 months in the hospital to try to regain competency to stand trial.

Post by charminglane on Thu Oct 21, 2010 11:08 am

He also looks like he is wearing her green dress.
Poor woman. She died as she was giving.
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Normal Re: Prosecutors Say Sandra Teichow Photographed Killer, Wilbert Thomas, As She Lay Dying/ Sentenced to 12 months in the hospital to try to regain competency to stand trial.

Post by Nama on Thu Oct 21, 2010 12:32 pm

No good deed goes unpunished!
It's sad the state has to waste money taking this man to trial. He should have never been released when he was in jail the last time......why didn't the court listen to the Dr's warning?

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Normal Re: Prosecutors Say Sandra Teichow Photographed Killer, Wilbert Thomas, As She Lay Dying/ Sentenced to 12 months in the hospital to try to regain competency to stand trial.

Post by Wrapitup on Thu Oct 21, 2010 1:43 pm

How many times have we asked that question on these cases? The courts always let the idiots out and then they kill or rape again. It's despicable!!

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Normal Slain woman's photos a mystery Police have yet to explain how suspect was caught on victim's camera

Post by Nama on Fri Oct 22, 2010 12:06 am



As mourners memorialized a Lake Geneva, Wis., humanitarian at the scene of her slaying in Racine on Thursday, authorities released no new information about the woman's killing or the mysterious pictures she apparently shot during her attack.

An interfaith coalition held an evening vigil at Sixth Street and Memorial Drive, near the secluded scene of Sandra Teichow's strangling on Oct. 14. The Racine Interfaith Coalition holds a vigil for each homicide victim in the city, said Brenda Trumbauer of Olympia Brown Unitarian Universalist Church in Racine.

Meanwhile, police and prosecutors didn't offer any explanation of how or why Teichow, 67, might have taken two photos with her digital camera during the fatal attack. The camera's memory card held photos showing a man with white hair and a silver cane walking away, prosecutors said. Police said they recognized the man and arrested him.

Wilbert Leonard Thomas, 65, of Racine, is charged with first-degree intentional homicide, theft from a corpse and felony bail-jumping. Thomas has a record of sexual violence.

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A second picture — a blurry shot of the sky — may have been taken as Teichow was struck and the camera was damaged, authorities said.

Before her killing, Teichow told people she planned to go to a laundromat and give away $100 in quarters. Quarters were found under her body, prosecutors said.

Thomas' next court hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, prosecutors said.

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Normal Victim Speaks About Accused Racine Killer

Post by Nama on Tue Oct 26, 2010 9:19 pm

A woman is talking publicly about the man who was convicted of attacking her nearly 20 years ago, who is now accused of murder.

Wilbert Thomas sits in jail charged with killing Sandra Teichow. Her body was found last week in a wooded area near downtown Racine.

"And of course I saw his face on the newspaper. It was scary, it was scary. Oh my hell, he's out," said the 66-year old woman who were not identifying because she's a sexual assault victim.

It was a few days after Christmas in 1991, when the woman was working as a bartender at a tavern on Sixth Street.

"I was alone and basically opening up getting things ready," she said.

That's when court records allege Thomas attacked her, strangled her, and tried to have sex with her.

Somehow, her five foot seven inch frame was able to break loose and run out of the bar. Thomas spent several years behind bars for the attack.

"The adrenaline hit and I was able to just flip him. And I'm not a big person, but thank God for adrenaline," she said.

For nearly two decades, she's hardly talked about the assault. In fact, she never even told her family about Thomas.

So now to hear he's accused of killing Teichow, a humanitarian and former teacher, is sickening.

Prosecutors tried to lock him up for good, fearing he would hurt someone else, but were unsuccessful.

"I don't understand that. I think the system kind of failed," she said.

She hopes by coming forward, she'll help others who are dealing with the same pain, and that a judge will finally lock Thomas up for good.

"(Teichow) could be alive today if he was locked up," she said.

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Normal Re: Prosecutors Say Sandra Teichow Photographed Killer, Wilbert Thomas, As She Lay Dying/ Sentenced to 12 months in the hospital to try to regain competency to stand trial.

Post by HippieChick on Wed Nov 10, 2010 12:00 pm

This story just leaves me feeling so sad all over.

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Normal Racine man pleads insanity in killing

Post by Nama on Thu Dec 02, 2010 9:20 pm

A 65-year-old man accused of killing a woman and robbing her of quarters she planned to give to the needy pleaded not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect on Tuesday

Wilbert Leonard Thomas of Racine is charged with first-degree intentional homicide, theft from a person or corpse and two counts of felony bail jumping in the death of Sandra L. Teichow of Lake Geneva.

Teichow, who was 67, was found Oct. 14 in some Racine woods. The complaint said a digital camera found nearby contained photos taken about an hour before her body was found. The photos were of a blurry sky and a man with a silver, four-pronged cane walking away.

A complaint says police found a matching cane and a jar with quarters at Thomas' home.

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Normal Re: Prosecutors Say Sandra Teichow Photographed Killer, Wilbert Thomas, As She Lay Dying/ Sentenced to 12 months in the hospital to try to regain competency to stand trial.

Post by Nama on Mon Mar 21, 2011 12:09 am

The man accused of killing a local humanitarian last year will spend up to 12 months in a state mental hospital, trying to regain competency.
Wilbert Thomas, 66, is charged with homicide for allegedly killing Sandra Teichow, 67, on Oct. 14. Teichow’s body was found in the woods south of the intersection of Mound Avenue and West Sixth Street. Teichow, of Lake Geneva, had been handing out quarter A Wisconsin man accused of killing a woman and robbing her of quarters she planned to give to the needy has been ordered to a state mental hospital.

Wilbert Thomas, 66, of Racine, will spend up to 12 months in the hospital, trying to regain competency to stand trial.

Thomas has pleaded not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect. He is accused of killing Sandra Teichow, 67, of Lake Geneva, last October.

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Normal Re: Prosecutors Say Sandra Teichow Photographed Killer, Wilbert Thomas, As She Lay Dying/ Sentenced to 12 months in the hospital to try to regain competency to stand trial.

Post by charminglane on Mon Mar 21, 2011 4:42 pm

Because of her love of humanity, Sandra would probably agree for him to have some therapy first.
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Normal Wilbert Thomas Wants To Watch Trial Via Closed-Circuit TV From Jail: Judge Orders Him To Be In Court

Post by NiteSpinR on Fri May 17, 2013 2:39 pm

April 27, 2013

A 68-year-old Racine man accused of killing a retired schoolteacher and robbing her of quarters doesn't want to be present for his trial.

Wilbert Thomas is charged in the October 2010 beating and strangulation death of 67-year-old Sandra Teichow. She was handing out quarters at a Laundromat in Racine.

Thomas' Public Defender Travis Schwantes told the judge Friday that Thomas requested not to be present during the trial partly because of publicity about the case.

The Journal Times reports Thomas wanted to watch the trial via closed-circuit television from the jail.

But Racine County Circuit Judge Tim Boyle said he wanted to avoid potential appellate court issues in the case, so he ordered Thomas to be present when the trial starts Monday.

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Normal Thomas Restrained In Wheelchair And Wearing A Mesh Spit Guard To Court

Post by NiteSpinR on Fri May 17, 2013 2:43 pm

April 30, 2013

James Raab thought he heard a scream while working in his home workshop Oct. 14, 2010, but it didn't seem to be a scream of alarm.

"I shook it off. It was real faint. In that neighborhood, we have lots of kids that walk the (railroad) tracks. I kind of blew it off," Raab testified Monday in Racine County Court.

A short time later, his wife opened the door to shake rugs as they prepared to welcome guests. Next to a car in their long driveway she found the body of retired Lake Geneva teacher Sandra Teichow.

Teichow had been in Racine that afternoon handing out quarters in white boxes to people at a coin laundry. After her death, it was determined she probably was the anonymous person who had handed out $20 bills to needy clients at the Salvation Army headquarters the Christmas before.

The Raabs were the first witnesses to testify Monday in the murder trial of Wilbert L. Thomas, 68, who is charged with Teichow's strangulation death.

Thomas was identified as a suspect after investigators found a photo of Thomas, taken from behind him, on Teichow's camera, which was found under her arm. Teichow apparently took the photo before her death.

A police officer recognized Thomas' distinctive hairstyle and his four-footed cane from the photo. The feet on the cane were matched to wounds on Teichow's body, Dr. Lynda M. Biedrzycki, who conducted the autopsy, testified Monday.

"There was extreme evidence of violence," Biedrzycki said, describing "extensive trauma to the neck" and other injuries.

Biedrzycki, the Waukesha County medical examiner, concluded that Teichow's death was by strangulation. When asked by assistant district attorney Robert Repischak if it could have been accidental strangulation, Biedrzycki replied without hesitation, "No, this was a very violent death."

The bench trial is being heard without a jury by Judge Timothy Boyle. The case has moved slowly to trial, delayed by at least six competency hearings for Thomas.

Sheriff's deputies brought Thomas restrained in a wheelchair and wearing a mesh spit guard to court Monday.

Thomas chose to not attend two recent hearings and had told his attorneys, assistant public defenders Carl Johnson and Travis Schwantes, that he did not want to attend his trial, either, if he could not watch it on closed-circuit television from the jail. The Racine County Law Enforcement Center does not have facilities for closed circuit transmission of trials to the jail.

The defense attorneys and Repischak agreed at a hearing Friday that it was vital to have Thomas in the courtroom, regardless of his wishes. Judge Boyle ruled Friday that Thomas should appear "in order to preserve the integrity of the court and the integrity of the case … and the integrity of his counsel to assist in his defense."

Boyle said doctors had not noted any medical or physical issues that would prevent Thomas' appearance.

"I believe this is continued manipulation by Mr. Thomas with the integrity of the court," Boyle said.

He ordered that Thomas be examined by a doctor or a jail nurse every hour.

A short time after Thomas' second examination, Judge Boyle announced that Thomas' blood pressure was elevated, apparently because he had earlier refused to take his blood pressure medication.

He ordered Thomas be taken to the hospital to have the medication administered under court order, and he ordered the trial to continue without Thomas' participation.

Thomas was returned to the county jail from the hospital Monday. The trial is expected to last through the week.

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Normal Re: Prosecutors Say Sandra Teichow Photographed Killer, Wilbert Thomas, As She Lay Dying/ Sentenced to 12 months in the hospital to try to regain competency to stand trial.

Post by raine1953 on Fri May 17, 2013 2:52 pm

Thank you for updating this thread Nite, I had forgotten all about this case! This one was so sad. I sure hope that POS is forced to attend court everyday!!!!!
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Normal Re: Prosecutors Say Sandra Teichow Photographed Killer, Wilbert Thomas, As She Lay Dying/ Sentenced to 12 months in the hospital to try to regain competency to stand trial.

Post by Wrapitup on Fri May 17, 2013 6:39 pm

I wholeheartedly agree!!!!

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Normal UPDATE: Wilbert Thomas Found Guilty Of The 2010 Murder Of Sandra Teichow

Post by NiteSpinR on Fri Jul 11, 2014 11:43 pm

June 25, 2013

RACINE — Wilbert Thomas showed no emotion as he sat in a wheelchair with his chin resting in his right hand, while Racine County Judge Timothy Boyle found him guilty Monday of murdering retired teacher Sandra Teichow of Lake Geneva in October 2010.

Thomas, 68, who was charged with first-degree intentional homicide, the theft of movable property from a person or a corpse and two counts of bail-jumping, had requested a bench trial rather than a jury trial.

Boyle read his 10-page ruling, repeatedly stating that there was “reliable and credible” evidence that Thomas was guilty. Twenty-five witnesses testified during the two-and-a-half-day trial in April. Seventy-seven exhibits were entered into evidence. The defense entered one of those exhibits and did not present any witnesses.

Teichow, 67, a retired teacher, had been handing out quarters in white boxes at a laundry to apparently-needy people, including Thomas, the day she was found strangled next to her car on an isolated wooded path.

Thomas was identified as a suspect because of a photo of him found on Teichow’s camera, under her arm. A police officer recognized Thomas’ distinctive hairstyle and his four-footed cane in the photo. The feet on the cane matched wounds on Teichow’s body.

Thomas’ competency was a contentious issue during six competency hearings before trial and during trial. He was found competent to face trial. He then refused to attend the beginning of the trial.

By refusing to come to court, Thomas “demonstrated a competent choice of what he wanted to do,” Boyle said.

“I believe this is continued manipulation by Mr. Thomas with the integrity of the court,” the judge said.

Now that Thomas has been convicted, a hearing will be conducted to determine whether he will be found not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect. He will be sentenced to prison or to a mental health facility, depending on the hearing’s outcome.

Thomas spoke when possible dates for the hearing were being discussed, objecting that he would have “to sit in jail” longer because it likely will not take place until autumn. A status conference is set for July 22.

Boyle listened as Thomas then objected to the finding of guilt on the theft charge. Thomas said he had no reason to steal from Teichow because he had money of his own.

Assistant District Attorney Robert Repischak spoke with family and friends of Teichow after the hearing. Smiling slightly, he said: “It took a long time, but we’re half-way there,” referring to the competency hearing that must be held before Thomas is sentenced.

He later praised “the thoughtfulness” of Boyle’s decision, which addressed specific testimony and evidence regarding the homicide and theft charges.

“It was not an off-the-cuff decision,” Repischak said. “I’m happy for the family that they have some finality with this part of the process.”

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Normal Wilbert L. Thomas, Sentenced To Life In Prison

Post by NiteSpinR on Fri Jul 11, 2014 11:48 pm

October 10, 2013



RACINE — A Racine man convicted of fatally strangling a retired Lake Geneva teacher nearly three years ago in Racine said he doesn’t hate women and it’s “hogwash” to say he has “a long history of that.”

Wilbert L. Thomas, 68, was sentenced on Thursday to spend the rest of his life behind bars for the Oct. 14, 2010, beating and strangulation death of 67-year-old Sandra Lee Teichow, and also for stealing the quarters she was doling out to those in need at Racine-area laundromats.

“It was truly a climactic clash, in my mind, of good vs. evil,” Racine County Circuit Court Judge Tim Boyle said before handing down Thomas’ sentence. “I think her character was demonstrated on the last day of her life. She was trying to help the poor and needy. On the other hand is Mr. Thomas.”

Thomas, whom Boyle called “complicated” and “possibly disturbed,” has a “long history of assaultive behavior against women.”

“Mr. Thomas, in my opinion, is an extreme risk to be in our society. It is my opinion that because Ms. Teichow and her family will never be eligible to bring her back, it is my opinion that Mr. Thomas should never be eligible to be out in the community again,” Boyle said as he handed down Thomas’ sentence, including no chance for release. “He shall serve that life sentence without any eligibility to petition for any extended supervision.”

But Thomas, a convicted sex offender who attended his sentencing dressed in a dark green, padded suicide suit, didn’t go quietly — verbally fighting back.

“I’m 68 years old. I’m very happy I reached that age. What you said was a bunch of hogwash,” Thomas told Boyle. “We all have to die. That includes you. If you think the future belongs to you — it doesn’t belong to you. It doesn’t belong to me. You don’t own it. Nobody does. I don’t care about the hogwash you said about never hitting the streets again because I don’t own the future. Nobody does.”

Assistant State Public Defender Travis Schwantes said Thomas plans to appeal.

Teichow’s body was found behind a home in the 1300 block of West Sixth Street. Racine police were called to the home at 4:14 p.m. and found Teichow, fatally strangled.

Her partially clothed body was left near her gold 2004 Honda CRV, lying on her back with dirt in her face — her arms outstretched, according to search warrants and testimony during Thomas’ bench trial in spring.

A Racine police investigator testified during Thomas’ trial that it looked as if Teichow’s body had been posed. Her digital camera was beneath one armpit, with leaves and sticks partially covering it. A mark on the ground near her looked like someone reached down and grabbed a handful of dirt.

Teichow’s family and friends sat somberly throughout Thursday’s sentencing, but afterward expressed relief that the almost three-year saga finally was at an end. Monday will mark the third anniversary of Teichow’s murder.

“I feel good. I feel there’s finally been some sort of justice and closure in the case,” Teichow’s son, Richard Jantz, 39, of Racine, said after the sentencing. “There was not too much room for appeals.”

Teichow’s older sister, Beverly Chudy, said their family “just really thinks justice was served.”

Boyle convicted Thomas on June 24, finding him guilty of first-degree intentional homicide, theft and two counts of bail jumping, all felonies. After Boyle ruled Thomas was guilty, the second phase began to determine if he was not guilty by reason of a mental disease or defect.

But Boyle ruled on Sept. 26 that while Thomas did have a mental condition at the time of Teichow’s slaying, Thomas had the mental capacity to understand that his actions could result in her death. Boyle decided not to accept Thomas’ NGI plea, meaning Thomas’ sentence would be to a prison term, not confinement in a state mental institution.

Yet despite a prison sentencing being the only option, Thomas, who sat in a wheelchair throughout Thursday’s sentencing, asked that he be sentenced to a state mental institution instead.

“My mind was sick as well as I was a sick person at that time, Oct. 14,” Thomas told Boyle. “I feel that a person who was somehow deranged in his thinking or sick shouldn’t be dealt with in the same way as a normal person.”

But Boyle reminded him that being sent back to a mental institution — where Thomas spent a chunk of the past nearly three years as he ping-ponged between being competent and not — wasn’t an option.

“A very, very dangerous, bad man is hopefully off the streets forever,” Assistant District Attorney Robert Repischak said after the sentencing.

Thomas is due back in court Nov. 21 for another case.

He was charged on June 23, 2010 - almost four months before Teichow’s death - with violating Wisconsin’s Sex Offender Registry requirements. Wisconsin Department of Corrections staff alleged that by June 14, 2010, Thomas hadn’t responded to three letters mailed to his last known address, according to his criminal complaint in that case.

While the homicide charge carries a mandatory sentence of life imprisonment, Racine County Circuit Court Judge Tim Boyle faced three options in sentencing Wilbert L. Thomas on Thursday.

Boyle could have ruled just as he did: that Thomas never is eligible to be released from prison on extended supervision, a type of monitored release. This means he would never be free from prison again.

Boyle’s second option was to schedule a date for Thomas to be released on extended supervision, after he first served at least 20 years behind bars. With credit for 1,091 days already spent locked up on this case, Thomas would be 85 years old.

The third option was to allow Thomas to petition the parole commission — after serving at least 20 years in prison — requesting he be released on extended supervision. This option would have left Thomas’ release up to the parole commission to decide.


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Normal Re: Prosecutors Say Sandra Teichow Photographed Killer, Wilbert Thomas, As She Lay Dying/ Sentenced to 12 months in the hospital to try to regain competency to stand trial.

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