UPDATE: Judge rules Colten Treu cannot withdraw his pleas

Published: Mar. 3, 2021 at 12:48 PM CST
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CHIPPEWA COUNTY, Wis. (WEAU) - Members of Treu’s original defense team took the stand and were asked about how they informed Treu of his rights regarding trial and appeals.

Colten Treu says he would have gone to trial if he was able to appeal. He added he realized he wouldn’t be able to appeal after the first phone conference with Dennis Schertz.

When asked about why he would have wanted to gone to trial, he answered he didn’t go to trial since there was no change of venue. He said he would have gone to trial and then appealed the location of the venue. He also added that if there was a different venue, he could have been a different outcome because no fair jury would have been found in Chippewa County.

“I don’t think I could find a jury in Chippewa County that would be fair and impartial,” Treu said during Wednesday’s hearing. “Had I gotten a different venue, the outcome could have been different but since I can’t appeal it I would have gone to trial in Chippewa and appealed it later on.”

The prosecution is arguing there has been no evidence presented that there was wrongdoing by the original defense team.

Both members of the former defense team including Carly Sebion and Travis Satorius testified during the hearing the venue issue did not come up while discussing the plea deal with Treu. Sebion says Treu never specifically asked about it.

Judge James Isaacson says the case was heavily reviewed before it was signed.

Judge Isaacson said there was no sufficient facts for misadvise and that Treu cannot withdraw his pleas.

Colten Treu is scheduled to appear in court via video in Chippewa County for his motion hearing.

To watch the livestream, click here.

Chippewa County documents say it is believed Treu will testify saying that his attorneys told him that he would still be able to appeal the denial of the change of venue motion if he changed his pleas. He added that he would not have changed his pleas and would have gone to trial if he had known.

Chippewa County documents filed by District Attorney Wade Newell say that neither the motion to withdraw his pleas or the affidavit of Attorney Schertz raise any claims that the plea colloquy was constitutionally or statutorily insufficient.

In another paragraph, the document says that there is no evidence on record that Treu intended to appeal the change of venue ruling and the only indication comes from his post-conviction motion.

Treu is sentenced to 54 years in prison and 45 years of extended supervision for the deaths of Autumn Helgeson, Jayna Kelley, Haylee Hickle, and Sara Schneider. He was also charged with hit and run involving great bodily harm for the injuries of Madalyn Zwiefelhofer.

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