Suspect released on $30,000 cash bail
By Robert Cloud
A Scandinavia man who sued the county after a deputy shot him in 2007 is accused of threatening the deputy and his family.
Jerome L. Weinmann, 56, was charged Tuesday, Oct. 27, with threatening a witness, threatening family members of a witness, felony stalking, felony intimidation, felon in possession of a firearm, possession of marijuana and manufacturing marijuana.
At 11:47 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 22, the Waupaca County Communications Center dispatched all available units to the home of Deputy Pat McClone. He lives on a dead end road in rural Scandinavia.
When Sgt. Scott Lewis arrived, he met with Pat McClone and his father, Joe McClone, in the driveway. Joe McClone is a county supervisor and a retired Waupaca school principal.
Joe McClone told Lewis he had been washing his truck when he noticed a white cargo van pull into the driveway, according to the criminal complaint. He said the driver remained in the van, watching the house.
Pat McClone’s two young children and his mother were also outside the house. When he saw the van, Pat McClone recognized the driver as Weinmann. He yelled for everyone to go into the house, which they did.
Joe McClone told Lewis that he went back outside because he was concerned the dogs might be hurt. He then saw the van back out of the driveway and sit along the roadway for about four minutes.
The driver then put his arm out the window and pointed what Joe McClone believed to be a handgun at him.
Joe McClone then yelled at Weinmann, “Get out of here.”
After he brought his children into the house, Pat McClone grabbed a rifle and a cellphone. He told Lewis that he feared for the safety of his family.
Pat McClone then went outside and shot three rounds into a pit in his backyard, the complaint says. The pit is about 30 to 40 feet deep and has a berm. The deputy uses it for firing practice.
According to the criminal complaint, Pat McClone told investigators he fired his rifle so that “Weinmann knew he had crossed a line showing up at his house and to leave him alone and not come back.”
Detective Capt. Don Conat later arrested Weinmann, who at the time was in his van southbound on State Highway 49. Officers searched the van but did not find a gun.
Detective Sgt. Rob Karski and Sgt. Kevin Studzinski interviewed Weinmann.
“Weinmann told officers that he is afraid and very upset with Pat and hates him for what he did to him,” the complaint says.
Weinmann reportedly said he had recently learned the trial in his lawsuit against McClone had been rescheduled for February 2016.
“He took this very hard and informed us that the emotions inside of him are very raw yet,” investigators reported.
2007 shooting leads to lawsuit
On Nov. 12, 2007, Weinamnn’s wife called 911 and reported that he was in their detached garage, threatening to commit suicide.
Deputy Pat McClone was the first to arrive at the scene. He looked inside the garage through two windows on the west side, but was unable to see Weinmann.
McClone also knocked on the door, but did not receive any response and did not attempt to communicate verbally with Weinmann.
Shane Bazile, a county communications officer, called Weinmann’s cellphone. Weinmann refused to leave the garage and told Bazile he wanted the officer to “please leave the premises.”
Concerned that Weinmann was committing suicide, McClone kicked the door open and entered the garage.
McClone says that Weinmann had the gun raised to his shoulder and pointed in his direction. He fired four shots at Weinmann because he feared for his life.
Weinmann required extensive medical treatment including partial amputation of his thumb and replacement of part of his jaw.
Weinmann says that just before McClone entered the garage, he lifted the shotgun, banged it against his forehead, then placed it across his lap, resting on the “armrests or held just above them.” He denies pointing the gun at McClone.
An independent investigation by the Brown County Sheriff’s Office in 2007 concluded that McClone was justified in shooting Weinmann, who was armed at the time.
Weinmann entered no-contest pleas to charges of felon in possession of a firearm and operating a firearm while intoxicated. A charge of intentionally pointing a weapon at an officer was dismissed but read into the record as part of a plea deal.
Weinmann subsequently sued both McClone and Waupaca County in federal court seeking compensatory damages for the injuries he suffered and punitive damages for the use of excessive force.
In March 2014, the Eastern Wisconsin U.S. District Court granted summary judgment and dismissed the case against Waupaca County. However, it did not dismiss the case against McClone because of conflicting evidence that needed resolution.
On May 27, the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals upheld the lower court’s decision that Deputy McClone was not entitled to qualified immunity.
Weinman has been charged with threatening a witness and his family because McClone is a witness in Weinmann’s lawsuit against him.
Weinmann’s house searched
During the interview, Studzinski asked Weinmann if he would consent to a search of his cellphone and he agreed, the complaint says.
While Studzinski was reading the “consent to search a mobile device form,” Weinmann reportedly said he may have had a conversation or two when he said, “I want to kill that (expletive)” and “I want him dead.”
Weinmann also told Studzinski that this had been the third time he pulled into McClone’s driveway, the complaint says.
Weinmann was also asked if he had any weapons in his home. He said there was “an old M1 carbine that belonged to his wife’s father during the Korean War,” according to Studzinski in his request for a search warrant.
On Friday, Oct. 23, authorities searched Weinmann’s home.
Karski reported finding the M1 carbine in the living room with a full box 30-caliber rounds on the floor next to it.
Marijuana seeds were found in the master bedroom and 12 grams of marijuana were found in the garage, the complaint says.
Weinmann was released from custody on Wednesday, Oct. 28, after posting a $30,000 cash bond.