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$100,000 Bond Set For Stabbing Suspect

Bond was set at $100,000 for stabbing suspect James Andrew Mileski on Friday, Jan. 4 in an initial appearance before Marinette County Circuit Court II Judge David Miron.

Mileski is charged with two felony counts of aggravated battery with intent to do great bodily harm. He is also charged with five misdemeanor counts, which are two counts of disorderly conduct, battery, possession of marijuana as party to a crime, and possession of drug paraphernalia as party to crime.

The charges stem from an incident that occurred in the 1700 block of Dunlap Avenue in Marinette during the early morning hours of Jan. 1.

According to the criminal complaint, Mileski used a knife to cause great bodily harm to Dennis Vanabel in the common area of the apartment building where both men reside. The complaint is merely an accusation and that Mileski is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in a court of law.

Police records show that the Marinette Police Department was dispatched to an apartment complex at 1713 Dunlap Avenue at 4:42 a.m. for a disturbance. On the way to the scene, the officers were informed that a male was stabbed and that he was still in the building.

The criminal complaint reports that Vanabel tried to intervene in a physical disagreement between Mileski and Mileski’s girlfriend, whom he is alleged to have hit in the face. Vanabel and an acquaintance apparently tried to separate the two. During that altercation, Mileski is accused of pulling a knife out of his pocket and stabbing Vanabel.

The acquaintance reported that he was able to separate Mileski and Vanabel, and that Vanabel ran down the hallway. Mileski then is alleged to have followed Vanabel down the hallway to continue the altercation.

Vanabel was taken to Bay Area Medical Center and then transported by helicopter to St. Vincent’s Hospital in Green Bay with life-threatening injuries. According to the complaint, Vanabel suffered eight cuts on his back, a cut to his chest and one to his left arm. One of the wounds was deep enough to puncture a lung.

Mileski was later located and volunteered the knife allegedly used in the incident, which was in his pocket. Mileski also allegedly acknowledged that he had been drinking.

After a search warrant was secured for Mileski’s apartment, officers also found multiple weapons including several firearms. In addition, the search discovered three marijuana pipes and a plastic sandwich baggie with a small amount of green plantlike material, which tested positive for the presence of THC.

During the bond hearing, Mileski appeared via video feed from the Marinette County Jail. He was accompanied by Attorney Gerald Wilson. Wilson was assisting Attorney John De Angelo, whom Mileski’s family has hired for the defense. Over 60 people, mostly family and friends of Mileski, were present in the courtroom and hallway for the hearing.

Marinette County District Attorney Allen Brey recommended a significant cash bond, along with no contact with the victim and witnesses. He further recommended that Mileski not consume alcohol or controlled substances and that he have no possession of weapons. In recommending a high bond, Brey noted the 0.16 percent blood alcohol content at the time of Mileski’s arrest, Vanabel’s life-threatening wounds, and the fact that if convicted on all counts, Mileski could receive $88,500 in fines and up to 32.5 years of prison time.

Attorney Wilson countered that such a large bail amount was not needed to assure Mileski’s future appearances in court since he has lived in the area his entire life. He also pointed to Mileski’s large and supportive family, the fact that Mileski has no other police record, and that he has no reason to leave the area because he has a young child whom he needs to support.

Wilson went on to say that the incident stemmed from an argument between Mileski and his girlfriend. He further stated that while his client is familiar with pocketknives and their use, the knife used during this incident was found by Mileski at the scene during the altercation.

In setting the bond at $100,000, Miron pointed to the violence and circumstances of the attack. He acknowledged that while the character of Mileski is positive, the character and strength of the evidence and the severity of the charges outweighed everything else.

Following the hearing, District Attorney Brey commented, “All too often we see bad conduct by good people when they’re drinking.” He added, “My focus is Mr. Vanabel, who was trying to help a woman who was being beaten.”

It appears that Vanabel and Mileski did not know each other prior to this New Year’s Day incident.

Mileski will make his initial appearance before Judge James Morrison at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 11. Judge Miron handled the Jan. 4 Bond Hearing because Morrison was on vacation at the time.


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