Junction City man, 81, sentenced in shooting hate crime - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Junction City man, 81, sentenced in shooting hate crime

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STEVENS POINT (WAOW) - An 81-year-old Junction City man accused of firing two gun shots in a standoff with police and two shots toward a Hmong neighbor will spend three years behind bars after a sentencing in Portage County court Friday.

Henry Kaminski was convicted of second-degree recklessly endangering safety as a hate crime and possession of child pornography, court records said. Prosecutors dismissed eight other charges in the plea agreement that avoided a jury trial. He will also spend three years on extended supervision when he's released from prison.

The incident that led to Kaminski's arrest happened about a year ago and involved a three-hour standoff, forcing the evacuation of a neighborhood in Junction City, police said.

In court the victim's lawyer read out a statement from the victim who was not present at the sentence hearing.

"Seeing a gun pointed at me, my body went numb and I thought this is where I die," the victim said in the statement.

A spokesperson for the victim said the sentence wasn't enough.

"Three years in prison and three years on probation is no time to give her a chance to re start living a new life there isn't really much justice to that," Chai Moua said.

She also said the Hmong community is questioning whether Kaminski's age and race played a role in the sentence.

"If the perpetrator was a person of color or if the perpetrator was not white and 80 years old would the outcome still been the same? " Moua questioned,

However Kaminski's attorney is satisfied with his client's sentence.

"There was a lot of witnesses there was a lot of evidence in this situation and we tried to come to a fair resolution that resolved all four matters," Jonathan LaVoy said.

Kaminski confronted a Hmong neighbor who was checking her garden, yelled at her, produced a firearm and shot into the ground before retreating to the home before coming out a second time, yelling and firing another shot, authorities said.

When officers rushed to the scene, Kaminski fired two shots from a block powder .44-caliber silver revolver at a deputy, went back inside his home and held officers at bay for about two hours before surrendering peacefully following a telephone call from his daughter, the complaint said.

Taken to a hospital, Kaminski told investigators "I'm not crazy. I am drunk," and he accused Hmong people of a variety of crimes.

During a search of Kaminski's home, police found "marijuana-growing operations" on the first and second floors, multiple handguns and child pornography on a computer, prosecutors said.

The judge ordered Kaminski's computer to be confiscated and he will be added to the sex offender's registry which stems from the child porn charge. 

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