Passenger connected to 2018 deaths of three Girl Scouts and mother found guilty

Published: Apr. 19, 2021 at 4:53 PM CDT
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -A man connected to the 2018 deaths of three Girl Scouts and a mother, pleaded no contest to a charge of harboring or aiding a felon.

John Stender Jr., 24, entered the plea Monday in a Chippewa County court room. The judge in the case, in turn, found Stender guilty.

Stender was a passenger in a vehicle driven by Colten Treu when it hit and killed four people as they were picking up trash along County Road P in Lake Hallie.

According to the criminal complaint, Stender told officers he and Treu were huffing a can of air duster when Treu started to cross the centerline.

Stender says he grabbed the steering wheel to avoid going into the ditch.

Stender claims Treu then crossed the centerline again and went into the ditch hitting Troop 3055.

Treu left the scene of the crash.

Last year, Colten Treu was sentenced to 54 years in prison.

Stender’s sentencing will be July 26.

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