(WLUK) -- Convicted murderer Kenneth Hudson should not be allowed an early appeal of an order dismissing his attorney from his case, the state argued in a new court filing.
Hudson is serving a life prison term for the June 25, 2000, murder of Shanna Van Dyn Hoven, 19. She was killed while jogging in a Kaukauna park. Hudson was also sentenced to consecutive sentences after that for kidnapping, attempted homicide and recklessly endangering safety, totaling another 70 years in prison. Since sentencing, Hudson has filed more than a dozen appeals and motions -- usually focusing on claims he was framed -- and all have failed.
Marinette County Judge James Morrison, then the chief judge for the seven-county administrative judicial district which also includes Outagamie County, assigned himself the case in 2021. Morrison had ordered Hudson to file what Morrison has described as one final, “all-encompassing motion” to address any remaining issues. However, a series of other issues have derailed multiple deadlines for that motion to be filed.
At a hearing in February, Morrison removed Hudson’s attorney --Michael Balskus -- from the case for not following court orders and denied a motion to remove himself from it. The judge then gave Hudson until March 31 to file his appeal.
That deadline was put on hold, however, as Balskus filed what’s known as an “interlocutory appeal.” Rather than wait for the case to play out and then appeal the issue, Balskus asked the appeals court for permission to appeal those issues now.
In a 10-page brief filed this week, Assistant Attorney General John Blimling says the court should not hear the case.
“Because there is no substantial likelihood of success on appeal, an immediate appeal simply prolongs the criminal proceedings in this case, which has already been going on for more than twenty years,” Blimling said. “Hudson cannot show that interlocutory review is necessary to clarify an issue of general importance in the administration of justice. The lack of a right to counsel on collateral attack is well-established, as are the standards for judicial recusal. To the extent the outcome of an appeal in this case might turn on the facts presented, this case presents such a unique factual scenario that it likely would not prove useful to courts and litigants in other cases. Hudson thus cannot demonstrate that the administration of justice requires this Court’s immediate review.”
There is no set timeline for the appeals court to make a ruling. Meanwhile, the Marinette County case is on hold.