Judge Jennifer Dorow under scrutiny after recent court case in Brookfield
BROOKFIELD, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Judge Jennifer Dorow is back in the headlines. A day after she announced her candidacy in the race for state Supreme Court, her decision to allow a defendant two days to report to jail is coming under question.
That's because the defendant, who was to serve time for abusing his wife in their Brookfield home, used those two days to travel to Illinois, nearly killing his in-laws.
The day after Judge Dorow officially announced her candidacy, police say this man, 36-year-old Michael Liu of Brookfield, was attempting to slaughter his wife's parents.
"When they arrived on scene, they didn’t know what they walked into," said Deputy Chief of Investigations Dan Jungles with the Will County Sheriff's Office.
Deputies responded to the home, in unincorporated Crete, for shots fired. That's Will County, Illinois.
"It looks like there's been a major struggle because there's glass everywhere, there's bullet casings, there's a gun, there's a knife. This was a calculated attack on the family. He laid in wait. He parked far away," said Jungles.
Michael Liu was in Judge Dorow's courtroom last month.
"This could've been avoided if he was just taken into custody right then and there but unfortunately, stuff like that happens all the time," said Jungles.
The Waukesha County criminal complaint says he punched his wife in their Brookfield home with a closed fist. She took her children into a bedroom, but the defendant forced the door open, then took a hammer and smashed the children's iPad. She says he also threatened to kill the kids and himself.
"The system needs to improve to protect these people and I think that sometimes needs to include their families," said Jori Chambers, co-executive director of the Women's Resource Center of Racine.
The Women's Resource Center of Racine says the victim did everything right. Liu was sentenced to four months of jail time. Prosecutors had requested probation. Judge Dorow gave him two days to turn himself in.
"You know if it's a real serious charge like murder, they generally just take them into custody right then and there but, from my understanding, there wasn't much of a criminal history with Mr. Liu," said Jungles.
Domestic violence victims -- help is out there. It's a matter of taking that first step. The Women's Resource Center can be reached here or via their 24-hour crisis line at (262)633-3233, or the 24-hour text crisis line at (262)221-0058.
"It's so hard to change your whole life. You're stepping out from what you know even if it's dangerous and horrible you're stepping out into the unknown," said Chambers.
Wisconsin statutes allow judges to grant defendants up to 60 days before beginning their jail sentence. Judge Dorow's campaign manager sent us a statement, saying, "The facts are Judge Dorow was tough on this first-time defendant" that "Mr. Liu had no prior criminal record".
We learned from Will County, they were familiar with Michael Liu, and had previously been called to that home in unincorporated Crete for domestic violence.