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Idaho man convicted in Tomah hotel murder won’t get new trial



A judge in Monroe County has denied a convicted murderer’s request for a new trial. 

The ruling from Judge Todd Ziegler came Thursday in the case of 31-year-old Zachary Davis of Idaho, who’s trying to appeal his conviction for stabbing a man in a Tomah hotel room five years ago. 

The victim, Derek Magnuson, allegedly had made advances at Davis’s friend Sebastian Martinez, who identifies as female and uses the name Sabrina. 

Monroe County District Attorney Kevin Croninger says Martinez recently testified at an appeal hearing for Davis, and apparently didn’t help Davis’s cause, claiming he saw ghosts in the courtroom. 

Magnuson was stabbed with a machete during a fight in 2015, after having met Davis and Martinez in Tomah.

The two suspects were captured later in Tennessee, after stealing Magnuson’s wallet and using his credit cards.

Davis received a life sentence in December of 2016, and Martinez got 13 years in prison on lesser charges of robbery and aiding a felon.


A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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