Gov. Evers grants 37 more pardons; 'make peace with their pasts'

MADISON, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Gov. Tony Evers announced Wednesday, Feb. 3, that he has granted another 37 pardons. The Governor’s Pardon Advisory Board heard from applicants virtually on Dec. 11, 2020, and again on Jan. 8, 2021. Applicants whom the Board recommended for pardon were forwarded to Gov. Evers for final consideration. To date, the governor has granted 144 pardons.

“From mistakes made as teenagers to desperate times as they struggled with homelessness or substance misuse, what we have seen overwhelmingly from applicants is a desire to move forward, give back, and make peace with their pasts,” said Gov. Evers. “I am glad to pardon these 37 individuals and continue the good work of the Pardon Advisory Board to give folks second chances.”

Gov. Evers granted pardons to the following people:

  • Meagan Brown of Milwaukee committed a theft from her employer nearly twenty years ago. She has since graduated from college, maintains employment, supports her family, and hopes to enter the healthcare field.
  • Anthony Cooper, Sr. was in his early twenties when he was caught dealing drugs and fled from police. Mr. Cooper now serves his community in different efforts to help released prisoners successfully reenter the community and stem community violence. He lives in Madison, where he received the 2019 City-County Humanitarian Award.
  • Glenn Gauthier was a teenager when he stole money from a grocery store nearly 50 years ago. He is a veteran who recently retired from a successful career in the paper mill industry, living in Larsen.
  • Michelle Hass took checks from her father nearly 30 years ago. She now works with those struggling with substance misuse and lives in Black Earth. Her father, the victim in her case, spoke on her behalf to the Pardon Advisory Board.
  • Jeffrey Heiser was just 21 years old when he lied to the court about buying beer for his underage brother. He is now in his fifties, living in Rib Lake, and is hopeful he will be able to someday hunt with this father, son, and grandson.
  • Jamal Jamerson was caught dealing marijuana more than 20 years ago. He is taking acting classes and hopes to keep developing a career in entertainment. He lives in Milwaukee with his daughter and fiancé.
  • Kimm Laursen purchased a stolen motorcycle nearly 40 years ago. He has been a barber for 37 years, lives in Cumberland, and has volunteered with organizations that help those struggling with alcohol misuse.
  • John Lawrence was only seventeen when he stole coins and a blow dart gun from his neighbor’s sock drawer. He obtained his GED and technical degree, has maintained employment, and owns a home in Cudahy.
  • Todd Nest was caught growing marijuana in his basement 26 years ago. He now runs two small businesses and lives in Wausau.
  • Yvette Patrick was caught selling drugs over 25 years ago. After serving a prison sentence, she renewed her faith and obtained her sobriety. She currently works with the city of Milwaukee, where she resides.
  • Benjamin Peters sold one ounce of marijuana a decade ago. He has two small children and lives in Appleton.
  • Syreeta Robinson was in her early twenties when she unlawfully used a store credit account of another individual. She has since obtained her degree from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee and works for the Sojourner Family Peace Center. She lives in Milwaukee.
  • Joseph Rucker was just a teenager when he failed to appear at sentencing for a case that was later thrown out. His decision to skip court 25 years ago led to a bail jumping conviction. He now runs a consulting agency with his wife and lives in Waukesha.
  • Carl Sinkler was a teenager when he and his friends left school to break into and steal from a series of storage lockers. Everything was returned, Mr. Sinkler concluded probation early, and he has since worked to support his wife and children. Now over 25 years later, he lives in Kronenwetter.
  • Brian Stasewich was experiencing homelessness over 25 years ago when he issued worthless checks and then stole checks from lockers at a gym. While on probation, he was convicted of disorderly conduct. He is now married and lives in La Crosse.
  • Rocco Sylvester stole from his employer 30 years ago. He is a veteran, has maintained consistent employment, and lives in Merrimac.
  • Cecil Trawick was convicted for dealing drugs nearly 30 years ago. He has maintained a lifelong career in asbestos remediation in Milwaukee.
  • Joshua Wentzel was caught dealing marijuana when he was a teenager nearly 20 years ago. He has since obtained his degree from the University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh and works as a dental hygienist, residing in Appleton.
  • Amber White was only 17 and struggling with substance misuse when she broke into a family member’s home and stole change and blank checks. Now recovered, she obtained her degree in social work, and hopes to practice as a nurse. She lives in Galena, Illinois.
  • Theodore Bowman was surviving without a home when he stole $25 from a gas station lockbox and broke a window to get into a bar nearly 50 years ago. He has recently retired from a successful lifelong career in manufacturing and resides in Neenah.
  • Marvel Coleman was caught in a car with weapons and drugs just after his 18th birthday. Since completing his sentence early, he’s devoted his life to mentoring teens and young men confronting similar situations as he faced in his youth in Milwaukee, where he lives.
  • Christopher Goodman and some friends were intoxicated when they broke into a barn, stole rifles, and shot at silos and cars on the property over 15 years ago. He now lives in Oconto, where he maintains employment at a warehouse.
  • Jason Guerrero was a teenager when he was caught in possession of a short-barreled rifle 33 years ago. He has spent nearly all of his life since climbing the ranks of his company, where he is now vice president. He lives in Milwaukee.
  • Dawn Heilgendorf was caught thirteen years ago attempting to trade a prescribed opioid for marijuana. She completed her sentence early and has since lived a quiet life in Port Washington.
  • Christopher Howard stole a jacket from someone who’d just been assaulted when he was a teenager. Almost twenty-five years later, he is a skilled builder who resides with his family in Kaukauna.
  • Robert Johnson was 24 years old when he wrote and cashed two checks totaling $220 from someone else’s account. Now in his fifties, he is a successful small businessman living in Bruce.
  • Felicia Jones took and used someone’s truck without consent and used stolen checks to buy groceries over 15 years ago. Now, she leads a sober life and is an active member of her church and AA in Madison.
  • Craig Larson and his friends broke into a liquor store and took beer, liquor, and cigarettes when he was 17 years old. In the over twenty years since, he has committed himself to his family and his career, and resides in Elroy.
  • William Rogers led police on a high-speed chase in his early 20s. He works tirelessly to repair the societal harm he inflicted by devoting his life in Oshkosh to working with young people through the Wisconsin Department of Health Services and Rawhide Youth Services.
  • Katee Sims was a teenager in Milwaukee when she was involved in the sale of cocaine to an undercover officer. She has since unburdened herself of past toxic influences and become a source for healing as a certified nursing assistant in Milwaukee.
  • David Stoner, Sr. grew marijuana plants on his property over ten years ago. A retiree, he lives with his family in Sarona.
  • Tahirah Sumbry made unauthorized purchases at two retail clothing stores nearly 20 years ago. She has since earned her bachelor’s degree and has become a small businesswoman in Fairburn, Georgia, where she lives.
  • Jerald Ulvestad sold cocaine to a confidential informant in the early 1980s. He has since obtained his associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees and maintained steady employment, living in Lakewood, Colorado.
  • Paul Vidani reprinted autographed professional sports photos which were subsequently sold as originals. He has since retired and continues to pursue his education. He lives in De Pere.
  • Daniel Watson was caught in possession of cocaine at 22 years old. Now, he gives back to his community as a personal care worker and volunteer for various Milwaukee beneficent organizations.
  • Derrick Welch was caught twice in possession of cocaine as a teenager, once after failing to return from Huber release. He now owns a barbershop that he runs as a family-oriented ministry in Milwaukee.
  • Frederick Wemmer was 18 when he was caught growing marijuana. Now 42 years old, he lives with his family in the Wisconsin Dells where they own campgrounds.

The Wisconsin Constitution grants the governor the power to pardon individuals convicted of a crime. A pardon is an official act of forgiveness that restores some of the rights that are lost when someone is convicted of a felony, including the right to serve on a jury, hold public office, and hold certain professional licenses. A pardon does not result in an expungement.

Under Executive Order 30, individuals convicted of a Wisconsin felony may apply for a pardon if they completed their sentence at least five years ago and have not committed any new crimes. Individuals currently required to register on the sex offender registry are ineligible for a pardon.

The pardon application, instructions, and answers to frequently asked questions regarding the pardon process are located on the Governor’s website here.

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