Wisconsin State Journal

Hudson motion alleges misconduct

February 28, 2009

Kenneth Hudson’s motion for a new trial alleges dozens of instances of misconduct by Outagamie County prosecutors Vince Biskupic and Carrie Schneider and police officers including Kaukauna Police Chief John Manion in the investigation into the murder of Shanna Van Dyn Hoven of Kaukauna. Among them:

• Citing photos and police testimony, prosecutors alleged Hudson’s leg, torso and hands were covered in Van Dyn Hoven’s blood when he was arrested. But a state Crime Laboratory analysis found the victim’s DNA only on Hudson’s right hand. On his left leg, the laboratory found blood but determined it was "not human blood." Tests by an independent laboratory in 2005 found only Hudson’s DNA or no DNA in 11 samples kept by Kaukauna police.

• Prosecutors said Hudson had the victim’s blood on his hands when he led police on a high-speed chase. But state Crime Laboratory reports released years after Hudson’s conviction found no blood on the driver’s side seat, floor, gear shift, steering wheel or door handle, nor on the boat and trailer that Hudson tried to reattach to his truck before the chase.

• Two vials of Van Dyn Hoven’s blood were taken during an autopsy at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital. At trial, Biskupic said both vials were turned over to the Crime Laboratory. But lab reports released after the trial show the laboratory got just one. The other is missing. Hudson alleges police used the second vial to plant blood on a knife seized from his truck. Kaukauna police reports also show the knife was taken out of evidence on the day of the autopsy, June 26, 2000, by a Kaukauna police officer, who later testified that he did so to show it to Manion.

• Biskupic alleged that after stabbing Van Dyn Hoven, Hudson tossed the blood-soaked knife on the driver’s side floor of his truck (although one officer testified he saw the knife on the passenger side). But a previously withheld state Crime Laboratory report said none of the victim’s blood was found on the floor where police claimed to have found the knife, which Hudson’s attorney called "an abject forensic impossibility." In reports released after trial, the arresting officers also made no mention of seeing a knife in Hudson’s truck.

• Kaukauna officers testified that Hudson made only vague requests for a lawyer during an interrogation at the hospital. But newly released audio tapes of the interrogation show Hudson repeatedly demanded to talk to a lawyer.

Innocent Imprisoned
Police/Prosecutor Misconduct

Truth in Justice