“Second, for purposes of probable cause to arrest, the police were entitled to rely on information from a known and reliable informant without independently determining the reliability of the informant’s source or the source’s information. …McAttee cites no authority requiring police to gain additional information, corroborating that received from a reliable informant, before making an arrest. Here, clearly, the information disclosed by the informant was vital; it established probable cause to arrest McAttee for the homicide.”
And, even though the information the police had about defendant’s girlfriend, who witnessed the murder, may have fallen short of establishing her status as one involved in a conspiracy under Wis. Stat. sec. 939.31, defendant has offered no argument to counter the trial court’s conclusion that Officer Smith’s use of the term was not “calculated to mislead.”
“Moreover, while the reference to ‘coconspirator’ may have been legally inexact, it also may have accurately conveyed the police’s understanding, at least in the vernacular. After all, the confidential informant had informed the police that Latoya had said that Lakesha had told her that she had seen the victim ‘take his last breath.’ That could well have led the police to surmise that Lakesha, who was McAttee’s girlfriend and the mother of his children, assisted his commission of the robbery/homicide and, therefore, was an ‘accomplice’ or ‘co-conspirator.'”
Recommended for publication in the official reports.
Dist I, Milwaukee County, Flanagan, J., Schudson, J.
For Appellant: Russell D. Bohach, Milwaukee
For Respondent: Robert D. Donohoo, Milwaukee; James M. Freimuth, Madison