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Trial set in New Richmond threats case

HUDSON — The trial for a New Richmond teenager accused of telling others he planned “to shoot kids” was set last week in a hearing where the judge announced there was probable cause to move the case forward.

The defendant, Nicholas H. Cherrier, also pleaded not guilty at the Friday, June 1, hearing to felony terroristic threats and disorderly conduct. A three-day trial is set to begin July 31.

Cherrier, 18, is accused of telling a coworker at town of Hudson-based Nor-Lake that the reason he was stockpiling ammunition was so he could “shoot kids,” according to a criminal complaint. St. Croix County Circuit Court Judge Edward Vlack heard competing versions of events at a preliminary hearing about whether Cherrier actually used those words or if he was fed them by a coworker during an exchange about concerns over ammunition he’d been buying.

Vlack cited his written ruling, issued a day earlier, in which he concluded the preliminary hearing established “plausible evidence that a felony occurred.”

That the state presented at least one account supporting the likelihood of a felonious crime was all it took, the judge explained.

“The law says I can’t pick,” Vlack said in court.

The ruling acknowledges the competing arguments made in court and notes that the “chronological timing of events may have been confusing,” but didn’t detract from the hearsay — allowable in that phase of the case — presented by St. Croix County Sheriff’s Office investigators was reliable.

“By law, a court does not and cannot, at this stage of the proceedings, choose between conflicting facts or inferences or weight the evidence,” Vlack wrote.

Cherrier’s next hearing is June 29.

Mike Longaecker

Mike Longaecker is a regional/enterprise reporter for RiverTown Multimedia. His coverage includes St. Croix County government, higher education and state politics in Wisconsin. 

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