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Sparta shooting suspect pleads not guilty

Brad Williams

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A Milwaukee man is pleading ‘not guilty’ this week to a deadly shooting during the summer in Sparta. 

Eric Borges entered the plea on Wednesday in Monroe County court, and awaits a trial date for his alleged role in the June murder of 61-year-old Anthony Koopman. 

He’s also accused of armed robbery and distributing meth. 

Michael Hartmann also has entered a ‘not guilty’ plea in the case, and a third suspect is a woman, Damara Skenandore-Medina, who was arrested in July. 

All three of the defendants are from Milwaukee. 

They allegedly traveled to Sparta to make a drug deal with Koopman, who was shot on a street near downtown.

Another crime case in Monroe County has led to federal charges.

Timothy Thomas of Portland, Oregon could get a 20-year prison sentence if he’s convicted of allegedly threatening an Amtrak conductor with a knife. 

Police say Thomas was trying to force his way into a secure part of the Amtrak train in early November. 

He got off the train when it stopped near Tomah, and was arrested by the state patrol while walking along Highway 12.

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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