Walworth County District Attorney Zeke Wiedenfeld on Friday ruled that a Walworth County Sheriff’s deputy was justified in shooting to death an Elkhorn man following a car chase in October.

Sean Dutcher

According to a news release issued by Sheriff Kurt Picknell, Wiedenfeld first delivered the news to the family of Sean Dutcher, 38, who died Oct. 18 after leading police on a vehicle pursuit in the Elkhorn area before being shot by Deputy Peter Wisnefsky, 28.

Wisnefsky, who has been on administrative duty while the shooting was investigated, will be resorted to full duty, according to Picknell, who indicated an internal investigation of the incident continues.

The main investigation was conducted by the state Department of Criminal Investigation with assistance from the Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department.

According to reports of the incident, Wisnefsky shot

Deputy Peter Wisnefsky

Dutcher when Dutcher rapidly accelerated directly toward Wisnefsky, who had gotten out of his squad car, on Centralia Street in Elkhorn after a vehicular chase. Wisnefsky fired 10 shots with two striking Dutcher in the chest, according to Wiedenfield.

In his letter to the sheriff, Wiedenfeld wrote:

“The evidence shows that Deputy Wisnefsky reasonably perceived Mr. Dutcher’s actions as an attempt to cause death or great bodily harm to Deputy Wisnefsky or another person. Therefore, I believe that Deputy Wisnefsky was justified in using deadly force to protect himself and the other law enforcement officers who were attempting to remove Mr. Dutcher from the motor vehicle.”

Wiedenfeld wrote that an inquest is not necessary, “because I do not believe that a jury could reasonably reach any other conclusion.”

The district attorney offered condolences to Dutcher’s family.

“His death leaves a wake of frustration and sadness,” Wiedenfeld wrote.

To read the full story on the district attorney’s ruling see the Feb. 7 edition of the Elkhorn Independent.

 
 

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