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Convicted serial killer appeals to state Supreme Court

Published On: Dec 29 2012 06:26:54 PM CST   Updated On: Dec 29 2012 06:29:55 PM CST

MILWAUKEE -

A Milwaukee man convicted of killing seven women over a 21-year period is appealing his convictions.

Walter Ellis pleaded no contest to charges of first-degree intentional homicide and first-degree murder. In a recent filing to the state Supreme Court, his attorney argues that Ellis only pleaded no contest because the court set up unfair circumstances for him.

Ellis had asked for a change of venue, citing the national publicity his case drew. He also wanted the cases to be tried separately, saying jurors might use evidence in one case to draw inferences in the other cases. A court of appeals denied both arguments.

Defense attorney Richard Hart is now appealing to the state Supreme Court. The justices will decide in the next few weeks whether to take the case.

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  • PHOTOS: Madison store helps collect hundreds of Teddy bears for police

    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. 

    Photos by Doug Wahl

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