The trial of Nathan Kivi continues. In testimony this week, witnesses have recounted their version of events that led to the shooting deaths of Richard and Kenneth Samuel outside of a Twin Lakes bar in November 2017. Kivi allegedly shot the two; his attorneys claim self defense. People at the bar that night say the conflict between the Samuel’s group and Kivi’s group had not turned physical, but they could not tell jurors exactly what the argument was about. All recounted how Kivi apparently escalated the situation by firing his gun, first as warning shots and then fatally at the Samuels. Kivi says he felt his life was threatened when sometime hit and broke the back window on his truck. Testimony is scheduled to continue.
Overall, crime was down in Kenosha last year. There was a 12% decrease in crime across all the major categories. There were four homicides reported last year, one less than in 2017. Vehicle theft was down 32%, robbery down 31%, burglary down 27% while assaults were down just 1%. There were no increases in any of the major crime category. Overall, 2,634 crimes were reported in Kenosha last year, down from 3,009 the year before.
The city of Kenosha is seeing benefits from increased patrols in traditionally troubled areas of the city. According to new numbers released from the Kenosha Police Department, 26% fewer calls came into police in 2018 compared to the year before in the areas where beat patrols have been added. The city applied for funds from the Wisconsin DOJ to add beat cops to areas like Uptown Kenosha that have higher crime rate. Those officers reported making more than 4,000 contacts with residents, 140 arrests, and the recovery of 15 guns. Kenosha received a $100,000 grant from the state DOJ’s Beat Patrol Overtime Program to pay for the officer’s overtime.
The suspect in Friday’s fatal crash made his initial court appearance Tuesday. 40 year old Timothy Vandervere is in jail on $2 million bond and is scheduled for a preliminary hearing next week. He’s accused by prosecutors of causing the fatal crash that killed three members of a Kenosha family and injuring another. Investigators allege that Vandervere was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the crash. A blood test was taken right after the crash, the results of which are pending. In the meantime, Vandervere is to have no contact with any members of the victims’ family or any witnesses connected to the case. He faces several felonies including 3 counts of reckless homicide and reckless driving causing injury.
Family and friends are remembering the three family members who died in Friday’s tragic crash on Highway 50. 67 year old Dr Michael Rizzo was a medical doctor with Aurora Healthcare while his brother 76 year old Dr Vince was a dentist. Vince’s wife Mary was an RN and worked with her husband at his practice. She was also a member of the Mt Carmel Church Choir. Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth says that the entire community is stinging after such a major loss. A third Rizzo brother, Gerald, was injured in the crash. He’s recovering at an area hospital. Despite their tragic end, those who were close to the Rizzos remember them fondly. The family has asked for privacy as they try to process their loss.