New judge assigned to Lily Peters homicide case

According to online court records, Judge Steven Gibbs will now handle the case.
Published: Sep. 26, 2022 at 1:03 PM CDT
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CHIPPEWA FALLS, Wis. (WEAU) - A new judge has been assigned to the Lily Peters homicide case.

According to online court records, Steven Gibbs, who was appointed to the Chippewa County Circuit Court by then-Gov. Scott Walker in 2016, is the new judge for the case.

An application for a substitution of judicial assignment filed by the suspect’s attorney, Michael Cohen, was approved on Sept. 21, with Gibbs assigned the case Monday, according to online court records. According to the document filed with the court on Sept. 21, no reason was given for the request. The filing cited Wisconsin Statute 970.20, which allows a defendant to request one judicial substitution.

Benjamin Lane, Chippewa County Circuit Court Judge for Branch 3, had presided over the case since charges were filed in April. Gibbs is the judge for Branch 1.

The suspect is facing charges of 1st-degree intentional homicide, 1st-degree sexual assault resulting in great bodily harm and 1st-degree sexual assault of a child under the age of 13 in the death of 10-year-old Iliana “Lily” Peters. Two of the three charges carry a maximum lifetime sentence in prison.

The suspect waived his right to a preliminary hearing on Aug. 31. Attorney Cohen planned to file for a reverse waiver hearing in an attempt to move the case to juvenile court.

A scheduling conference is scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 29, according to online court records.

The suspect is being held at the Northwest Regional Juvenile Detention Center in Eau Claire awaiting his next court appearance. Cash bond has been set at $1 million.