APPLETON, Wis. (AP) – A judge is expected to decide Monday whether to delay the trial or dismiss the charges for a woman in the shooting death of her former domestic partner nearly seven years ago now that a key witness is refusing to testify.
Lara Plamann was found shot to death in October of 2007 in a shed near the Greenville home she shared with Dianna Siveny. The 55-year-old Sivney, her 30-year-old daughter, Kandi Siveny, of St. Paul, Minnesota, and another woman were charged last year with first-degree intentional homicide.
Dianna Siveny is due to stand trial Aug. 25, but Outagamie County District Attorney Carrie Schneider is seeking a delay, Post-Crescent Media reported Sunday.
Schneider told the court she learned late last month that the third defendant, Rosie Campbell, 39, of St. Paul, plans to refuse to testify. Campbell plans to assert her constitutional right against self-incrimination even if she’s offered immunity from prosecution.
“The testimony of Rosie Campbell is an important component and necessity in the prosecution of this defendant,” Schneider said in a filing last week.
Dianna Siveny was Plamann’s longtime domestic partner. Kandi Siveny is accused of fatally shooting Plamann after her mother allegedly offered Campbell $5,000 to carry out the killing. According to the complaint, Plamann and Dianna Siveny had been together since 1998, but Dianna Siveny believed that Plamann had an affair with another woman a few weeks before the killing. Campbell’s confession in February 2013 resulted in the Sivenys’ arrests.
If Judge Nancy Krueger won’t delay the trial, the prosecutor said she’ll ask her to dismiss the charges without prejudice so she could re-file them later.
Campbell has asked the judge to throw out her confession, claiming police illegally detained her and coerced her statements. On Friday, Campbell’s trial was rescheduled to begin Oct. 20. Kandy Siveny’s trial is set to start Sept. 29.
Campbell’s attorney, Brandt Swardanski, said his client’s statements were “the product of coercion and overbearing inquisition techniques and were not made voluntarily.” While he acknowledged that detectives read Campbell her rights before questioning, he said she was unable to comprehend them.
A psychologist who evaluated Campbell found she “lacks sufficient understanding of her right to silence and is extremely susceptible to shifting her response under minimal pressure from the interrogator,” according to court records. The psychologist painted a picture of a woman troubled by mental disorders and an abusive past.