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Board hears claims for overturned convictions

Published On: Dec 12 2012 04:45:18 PM CST   Updated On: Dec 12 2012 04:46:07 PM CST
MADISON, Wis. -

The Wisconsin Claims Board is considering claims from four people who were sentenced to time behind bars before their convictions were overturned.

The board met Wednesday to hear testimony on the four cases. The board has 20 business days to release its decisions.

The cases include:

  • Beth Reeves, who was convicted of nine felony counts related to contractor theft. Her conviction was overturned after the Court of Appeals found that prosecutors failed to disclose who paid an expert witness. She's seeking $162,000, largely for attorneys' fees.

  • William D. Avery, who was convicted of strangling a woman. He served five years before DNA evidence exonerated him. He's seeking $30,000.

  • Forest S. Shomberg, who's seeking about $103,000 after he served six years for a sexual assault he didn't commit.
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    MADISON, Wis.--A west Madison store is part of an effort to collect hundreds of stuffed animals to donate to six police departments in Southern Wisconsin.

    Todd Merryfield, owner of The Learning Shop at 714 S. Gammon Road, said the store is collecting the bears for officers who use them to help comfort children with whom police come in contact.

    "This is a great way to support what (police) do," Merryfield said. "Those are the kids that need something like this to reassure them, calm them down, and let them know that things are all right."

    Nearly 500 plush animals were donated Tuesday, a Learning Shop spokeswoman said. The Madison store's effort is part of a larger initiative through the Bears for Humanity organization. 

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