MENOMONIE, Wis. (WCCO) — The trial of a man accused of killing a Wisconsin Deputy began Tuesday.
Police say Dan Nitek shot and killed Deputy Dan Glaze back in October of 2016 in a field in Rusk County, Wisconsin.
Amber Hahn, Assistant Attorney General for the State of Wisconsin, told the jury what happened the night Glaze was fatally shot. Hahn said Glaze was driving through Rusk County in his marked squad car when he noticed a “suspicious vehicle.”
That vehicle was Nitek’s red truck parked in a field on his property. Hahn told the jury that Glaze drove onto Nitek’s property and called for backup. It was then that Nitek fired two shots at the squad car.
“Shots rang out. A gun shot can actually be heard on a police radio,” said Hahn. “A bullet struck the front hood of Deputy Glaze’s car, a second bullet went through the windshield. The bullet struck Deputy Glaze in the left eye and exited the left temple area, killing him.”
Charles Glynn, Nitek’s defense attorney, did not deny that Nitek fired the shot that killed Glaze. Glynn rather argued that Nitek was defending himself on his own property.
“There is no way he intended to kill anybody. He didn’t know who was in that vehicle. He didn’t know what was happening,” said Glynn. “He feared for his life and shot his gun to protect himself, but for sure it’s not intentional.”
The prosecution disagrees. They said the lights were on when Nitek opened fire on the patrol vehicle.
“The defendant made intentional and deliberate choice to end the life of the officer who was driving the squad car on October 29th, 2016,” said Hahn. “Every action of the defendant was a separate choice.”
Nitek was a convicted felon at the time of the shooting, and legally should have never owned a firearm at that time. Police charged Nitek with possession of methamphetamine, THC and drug paraphernalia.
Nitek is now facing 31 total charges, including three first-degree intentional homicide charges, possession of a firearm as a convicted felon, 17 charges of first-degree recklessly endangering safety, three drug charges, two charges of criminal damage to property and five charges of felony bail jumping.
The trial is scheduled to last for three weeks. The jury will be sequestered the whole time, which means they can’t go home, read the newspaper, watch TV, or talk to anyone about the case.