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Court denies request by man who shot cops

MILWAUKEE (AP) – A state court denied an appeal Tuesday from a man convicted of shooting and injuring two Milwaukee police officers in 2009.

Julius Burton, now 21, was sentenced to 80 years in prison after pleading guilty to charges related to the shooting of Officers Bryan Norberg and Graham Kunisch. Burton wanted to withdraw his pleas, arguing that his former attorney and the lower court didn’t properly advise him, but an appellate court denied his request.

His current attorney, Esther Cohen Lee, said she plans to ask the Wisconsin Supreme Court to consider the case.

The officers were monitoring students leaving a high school when they saw Burton, who was riding a bike on the sidewalk, violating a city ordinance. They yelled at him to stop and chased him, but when they caught up to him, he shot both officers at close range in their faces on June 9, 2009.

After a long recovery, the officers returned to full duty in July 2010.

Burton, who has a history of mental illness, had originally pleaded not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect to two counts of attempted first-degree intentional homicide. One of his attorneys said Burton later changed his mind and wanted to plead guilty.

Burton filed a post-conviction motion in January 2011 seeking to withdraw his pleas. The circuit court denied the motion, and he appealed. A three-judge panel of the appeals court released their decision Tuesday.

Burton alleged that records showed his attorney and the circuit court failed to advise him he could plead guilty but have a jury determine if he was mentally responsible.

The appeals court ruled that his allegations were not sufficient to show his attorney was ineffective and that he only alleged that the “record fails to show,” not that the attorney failed to do so. It also ruled the circuit court was not obligated to advise Burton of the availability of that option.

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