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A woman charged in a Wisconsin murder plans to argue that she is not guilty because she was a coerced victim of human trafficking — after the state Supreme Court ruled in July that such a defense could be used in homicide cases.

Tanya Stammer is charged with first-degree intentional homicide and armed robbery in connection with the March 2021 death of Brian Porsche in Kaukauna. She is scheduled to stand trial next summer.

WLUK-TV reports that Stammer’s attorneys have said they intend to offer evidence that shows Stammer was a victim of human trafficking. That comes after the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled in July that a 2008 law that absolves trafficking victims of criminal liability for offenses committed as a direct result of being trafficked extends to first-degree intentional homicide. However, to use that as a defense, defendants must show that the crime was connected to being a victim of trafficking.

On Thursday, Stammer’s attorneys submitted copies of the law to the court. They said in a previous court filing that the “events described in the allegations were only possible because of her role as a victim of human trafficking.”

A trial date has not been set for Stammer’s co-defendant, Dontae Payne. According to the criminal complaint, Payne and Stammer targeted Porsche, with Payne allegedly shooting Porsche. The two then tried to make the scene look like a robbery, and tossed his phone & keys into Lake Winnebago.

Nearly 40 states have passed laws that give trafficking victims at least some level of criminal immunity, according to Legal Action of Wisconsin, which provides legal help for low-income people.


German lawmakers on Thursday approved a free-trade deal between the European Union and Canada, moving the accord a step closer to taking full effect.

The pact, formally known as the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, or CETA, was signed in late 2016. Most of its terms have been implemented provisionally since 2017, but the parliaments of the EU’s 27 member nations must ratify the deal for -it to come fully into force.

Chancellor OIaf Scholz’s three-party coalition moved forward with ratifying it after Germany’s highest court in March rejected complaints against CETA, at least in the form in which it is currently in effect.

Lawmakers voted 559-110 to approve the pact.

Another 11 EU countries have yet to ratify the deal, Verena Hubertz, a lawmaker with Scholz’s center-left Social Democrats, told parliament’s lower house before the vote.

“We are optimistic, now that we are moving forward, that others will also follow very quickly,” she said. “But of course ... this is much too long and much too slow in a globalized world that turns quickly.”

Hubertz said Germany had to wait for the court verdict and added that “we have eliminated concerns” about details of a dispute mechanism built into the pact. Conservative opposition lawmakers argued that little or nothing has actually changed and charged that the center-left had held up ratification for ideological reasons.

The deal eliminates almost all customs duties and increases quotas for certain key products in Canada and the EU’s respective markets. The EU has said the agreement will save its companies some 600 million euros ($623 million) a year in duties.


Kansas providers might not be ready for months to do telemedicine abortions even though a state-court judge has blocked the state from enforcing its ban on teleconferencing with patients seeking pregnancy-ending medications.

Planned Parenthood Great Plains said Wednesday it is evaluating its options following the order last week from Shawnee County District Judge Teresa Watson. It operates three clinics in Kansas providing abortions.

A spokesperson for Wichita clinic operator Trust Women said it hopes to resume telemedicine abortions but will move slowly. It provided them for a few months in 2018, filing a lawsuit challenging the ban just before it took effect at the start of 2019.

“There is a lot of infrastructure that needs to go into place to make sure it’s the right way to do it,” said Zack Gingrich-Gaylord, the Trust Women spokesperson, citing more staffing as a big need.

Kansas has required doctors to be physically present when a patient takes the first dose of what often is two doses of pregnancy-ending medication.

The Kansas Supreme Court ruled in April 2019 that access to abortion is a “fundamental” right under the state constitution, but Watson refused in July 2019 to block enforcement of the ban while Trust Women’s legal challenge moved forward. The state Court of Appeals overturned that decision in May and ordered Watson to reconsider not blocking the ban’s enforcement.


A federal judge has ordered energy company Enbridge Inc. and an American Indian tribe to come up with an emergency plan to prevent potential spills from an aging oil pipeline running across the tribe’s reservation.

The Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa sued Enbridge in federal court in 2019 to force the company to remove a section of the Line 5 pipeline that runs across the tribe’s reservation in northern Wisconsin, arguing the nearly 70-year-old line poses an unreasonable risk to health and safety. The company agreed and plans to build a $450 million pipeline that would run 41 miles (66 kilometers) around the reservation.

Wisconsin Public Radio reported that U.S. District Judge William Conley said in an order issued Monday that risk of a significant rupture exists and the resulting spill could cause “catastrophic” impacts to the Bad River watershed. He allowed the pipeline to continue operating but ordered the tribe and the company to develop a plan to prevent possible spills.

He told the company and tribe to meet and talk about installing emergency shutoff valves and developing a protocol for shutting down and purging the line by Dec. 17. They must submit proposals by Dec. 24.

Enbridge spokesperson Juli Kellner said in a statement that the company looks forward to meeting with the tribe. Bad River tribal Chairman Mike Wiggins Jr. didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on Monday.

Sierra Club Wisconsin Director Elizabeth Ward said she’s glad that Conley recognized the tribe’s concerns about a potential spill but she’s disappointed the judge didn’t shut down the line.

Conley has said a shutdown would have significant effects on regional economies. Line 5 carries up to 23 million gallons (about 87 million liters) of oil and natural gas liquids daily and stretches 645 miles (about 1,040 kilometers) from Superior through northern Wisconsin and Michigan to Sarnia, Ontario.


Hong Kong’s leader said on Monday he will ask Beijing to rule whether to let foreign lawyers be involved in national security cases after the city’s top court allowed a prominent pro-democracy publisher to hire a British lawyer for his upcoming trial.

John Lee said the government would ask for a postponement of Jimmy Lai’s high-profile trial that was due to start Thursday. But he did not offer a timetable for the interpretation that could effectively preempt the court judgment.

“At present, there is no effective means to ensure that a counsel from overseas will not have conflict of interest because of his nationality. And there is also no means to ensure that he has not been coerced, compromised, or in any way controlled by foreign governments, associations or persons,” he said.

The move was targeting overseas counsels who do not have the general practice qualification to carry out legal service in Hong Kong, he added.

Lai, the founder of the now-defunct Apple Daily and one of the most prominent figures in the city’s pro-democracy movement, was arrested after Beijing imposed a tough n ational security law to crack down on dissent following widespread protests in 2019. He faces collusion charges and a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.

While the city’s secretary for justice was appealing an earlier ruling that approved Lai to hire a veteran British lawyer at the top court, pro-Beijing politicians and newspapers also voiced objections over the last few days.


The Wisconsin Supreme Court has revoked a law license from a former Milwaukee County juvenile court judge who had pleaded guilty to federal charges of transmitting child pornography.

The state Supreme Court ruled Friday that the seriousness of Brett Blomme’s misconduct while a judge merited the revocation of his law license, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported. Blomme’s license was already suspended, but he had filed a “petition for the consensual revocation” of his license.

Blomme is currently serving a nine-year prison sentence. He pleaded guilty to two federal counts of distributing child pornography in September.

According to a criminal complaint, the state Department of Justice began investigating Blomme in February after receiving a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children that he had uploaded child pornography through the Kik messaging application 27 times in October and November 2020.


Former Youth Minister Charles Ble Goude, who was acquitted of crimes at the International Criminal Court, returned home Saturday to Ivory Coast after more than a decade of exile.

He arrived in Abidjan on a commercial flight around 1 p.m. and made no comment at the airport, which was heavily guarded by police. However, he later greeted supporters in Yopougon, where he promised them there would be a meeting in the coming weeks.

“It is time to tell the truth,” Ble Goude said. “Eleven years of lies, and only an hour-long press conference to restore the truth. Ivory Coast needs those who tell the truth. It does not need liars.”

Ble Goude was the leader of the Young Patriots, a pro-government youth organization seen by many as a militia, and youth minister under Former President Laurent Gbagbo.

More than 3,000 people were killed in violence that erupted after Gbagbo refused to accept defeat by his rival in the 2010 election, current Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara.

Ble Goude was ultimately cleared in 2019 at the International Criminal Court, along with Gbagbo, of responsibility for crimes including murder, rape and persecution following the disputed election.

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