abigail bostwick/lakeland times
Dayna Mason was in court on April 25 with public defender Richard Shawl.
4/30/2019 7:30:00 AM Cloud pleads guilty, Mason may take plea in murder weapon-related burglary
Abigail Bostwick of The Lakeland Times
One of several men charged in Oneida County Circuit Court with a theft involving the gun used to murder a Lac du Flambeau man in 2018 has pled guilty.
Joseph Cloud, 25, formerly of Lac du Flambeau and now housed at Green Bay Correctional, was charged with burglary with a dangerous weapon, theft and possession of a firearm as a felon, all felonies with modifiers of a habitual criminal and party to a crime.
On Monday, April 22, he pled guilty before Judge Michael Bloom to burglary with a dangerous weapon. The other charges were dismissed. After a pre-sentence investigation is conducted, he is set to be sentenced July 2.
The Lake Tomahawk burglary occurred in December 2017. Stolen were a video game console, video games, a shotgun, rifle, .22 pistol, various ammunition and a 9 mm semi-automatic gun.
That 9 mm gun would later be used by Richard Allen, 28, and Joseph Lussier, 27, both of Lac du Flambeau, in the homicide of Wayne Valliere, Jr., that involved three other men in Iron County. Allen and Lussier were convicted of murder and sent to life in prison.
Allen also was present at the Lake Tomahawk burglary and was said to have kept the gun which he called, "baby," according to court records. The charges in Oneida County were dropped against Allen after he was convicted and sentenced in the Valliere murder.
Further involved in the burglary were Dayna Mason, 28, last listed as "homeless in Eagle River," now in Ashland Jail, as well as Buddy Maurice Big John, 21, Wittenberg, now in the Oneida County Jail. Big John is scheduled for a jury trial in July.
Special prosecutors in the case are state assistant attorneys general Richard Dufour and Chad D. Verbeten.
Mason was transported to court April 25 before Bloom for a hearing. Mason has been set for a jury trial in September, but Bloom indicated in court he understood there was a possible waiver of a jury trial.
"Our position is that we are still in favor of trying this case to the court," Mason's public defender Richard Shawl said. "We are also working fairly hard on a settlement."
A deadline for the state was not met regarding the state's position, it was noted in court. Bloom noted a plea had been expected that day.
"I don't care to inquire why that fell through, but it did," he observed.
"I apologize," Verbeten said. "We are working on a settlement." He added it could be filed as soon as this week.
Shawl added he and his client are still working towards a bench trial or a possible agreement.
"We rather prefer getting this over as quickly as possible," he said.
Bloom granted the state's possible position to waive a jury trial.
Mason's next hearing, May 8, will have all parties calling into the court or appearing via video.
Since being arrested on the burglary charge, Mason has had a felony charge filed against him for battery by prisoner. Based on the complaint, Mason was observed on Oneida County Jail video in July approaching another inmate there at the time, Lawrence Anthony Ingram, 56, Milwaukee, in the dayroom and punching him several times in the head and torso. After Ingram fell to the floor, Mason reportedly continued to punch and kick him.
Ingram was observed not moving, then attempting to rise but failing. He did finally walk away, court reports note. When interviewed, neither Mason nor Ingram would speak to the incident. Ingram was convicted of the murder of a homeless man in Milwaukee several years ago and is serving a sentence of 27 years in prison, 20 years extended supervision.
Meanwhile in the Valliere homicide, James Lussier, 20, was sentenced to 15 years prison and 15 years' extended supervision after pleading guilty to a lesser charge of homicide by battery; Curtis Wolfe, 26, Lac du Flambeau, is awaiting a May jury trial; and Evan Oungst, 28, Arbor Vitae, is expected to enter a plea the first week in May and have a jury trial in October on related charges. Dufour and Verbeten have been and are prosecuting all matters.
According to court documents, Cloud and Mason and a female were involved with Allen in a reported Bad River "drug deal gone bad" that involved a "meth run" from Minnesota.
That drug deal was cited as one of the possible reasons leading to the murder of Valliere, according to witnesses interviewed by authorities in court records.
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