Long Lake robbery suspect appears in Baraga court
By GARRETT NEESE
For The Daily News
L’ANSE – Two men accused of breaking into a Watton home near Covington and robbing the residents of $10,000 and other items could stand trial together.
They are also suspects in another robbery in Long Lake, Wis.
Donavan Waupoose, 21, of Stephenson, appeared in Baraga County Circuit Court for a preliminary hearing this week.
There have been “faltering steps” toward a resolution, said Baraga County Prosecutor Joseph O’Leary. Some of the hold-up is because of the recent capture of alleged co-conspirator Bernard Fish, who has an upcoming preliminary hearing in district court.
“It’s kind of difficult to know exactly where we are until we know where he is,” he said.
O’Leary said he would file to join the two cases together at trial, as they arose from the same circumstance.
A pretrial will take place in late January.
Waupoose is scheduled to go to trial on Feb. 26. The trial is expected to last three days.
Aaron Schenk, Waupoose’s attorney, said he doesn’t oppose a joint trial, but said his main focus is on the trial date.
“I don’t think a resolution in this case is out of the question – it’s something that can still be explored,” he said. “But nonetheless, our point of view has geared itself toward the trial date at this time.”
Waupoose and Fish, 47, of Shawano, Wis., allegedly went to a home in Watton on Aug. 1. Identifying themselves as U.S. marshals, they demanded $10,000 from the residents, also taking wallets, identification and other documents.
Waupoose and Fish are charged with two counts of armed robbery, a felony punishable by life imprisonment; two counts of extortion, a 20-year felony; two counts of unlawful imprisonment, a 15-year felony; and a count of impersonating a police officer to commit a crime, a four-year felony.
The Long Lake incident occurred later that same day.
According to the criminal complaint filed in Florence County Court, Waupoose and Fish worked together to commit a carjacking.
The complaint states that when the victim called Waupoose to wish him a happy birthday, Waupoose asked the victim for some money. The two decided to meet at Flatlanders Bar for some drinks.
When the victim arrived at the bar, he did not see Waupoose’s vehicle.
Instead, he was approached by an unknown man, later identified as Fish, who jumped into the back of his vehicle and pointed a gun at him.
Also in the victim’s vehicle at the time were two other friends and their children.
The victim claimed that Fish stole a cell phone and some money before ordering everyone out of the vehicle near CJ’s Bar in Newald, Wis.
In a statement to authorities, the victim said that he believed that Waupoose set him up for the carjacking/armed robbery that Fish committed.
The victim also believed that Waupoose wanted the medical marijuana that was in his vehicle.
Waupoose was apprehended in Stephenson a few days after the incident.
Waupoose has not yet appeared in Florence County Court for his charges there.