Tuesday, October 23, 2018

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Twice-delayed trial for man accused of killing a Rusk County deputy starts this week

Doug Nitek faces 31 charges stemming from the October 2016 shooting

  • Nitek-Doug-103116


    Contributed photo

Rusk County Deputy Dan Glaze was shot and killed on Oct. 29, 2016, south of Ladysmith.

When officers arrived at the scene, they arrested 45-year-old Doug Nitek. He has been charged with 31 counts stemming from the shooting, including first-degree intentional homicide, attempted homicide, recklessly endangering safety while armed with a dangerous weapon, criminal damage to property, possession of drug paraphernalia and bail jumping.

On Monday, jury selection for his trial will begin in Rusk County. The trial will then officially begin Tuesday in Dunn County Court in Menomonie.

St. Croix County Judge Scott Needham will preside over the trial. Needham took over the case from Washburn County Judge Eugene Harrington earlier this year. He decided this summer that it made sense to move the trial.

“The court finds that there are issues with housing the jury in Rusk County, or within a reasonable distance of Rusk County, and concerns about the physical layout of the courthouse and physical space of the courtroom in Rusk County being sufficient to handle the number of people expected to be involved as parties and the expected press coverage,” Needham wrote in a court document. “Further, the attorneys for the defendant (Nitek) have requested that the trial be conducted in an alternate location and the state does not object. The court has also considered victim’s rights and concluded that said rights can be accommodated in an alternate location.”

The criminal complaint states that Nitek was approximately 168 yards from Glaze when he shot and killed the officer as Glaze was still sitting behind the wheel of his squad car. Up to six shots were fired at Glaze, including the fatal one that struck him in his head. More law enforcement arrived at W7958 Broken Arrow Road, east of Highway 27 south of Ladysmith, with Nitek firing shots at multiple officers.

When the Eau Claire County armored Bearcat arrived, it pulled up to the trailer. Nitek shot at a camera from that vehicle.

Nitek eventually surrendered, leaving the trailer without incident. Inside the home, the officers located the rifle and more bullet casings, along with fresh bullet holes. Officers also found a small bag of meth and a pipe.

Authorities took DNA samples from the rifle, scope, stock pad (which rests on the shoulder when firing a weapon) and sling, and all matched to Nitek.

Nitek is incarcerated at Dodge Correctional Institution in Waupun. Last October, Nitek’s attorneys requested to change his plea from not guilty to “not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect.” However, Nitek later changed his mind and decided to move forward with a trial.

The trial has been delayed twice — it was previously slated for Dec. 11, 2017, then moved to April 2018 before being finalized for this week.

Nitek had been convicted of fifth-offense operating while intoxicated in 2012 and was ordered to serve a year in jail, and he was released on bond in a recklessly endangering safety charge out of Sawyer County. He also was convicted of battery in 2003 and fourth-degree sexual assault in 1992.

Glaze had only worked for the Rusk County sheriff’s office for 1½ years. He had previously worked for the Hayward Police Department. Glaze is survived by his wife, Sarah, along with three children, Kendall, 18, Levi, 5, and Eliana, 5 months old at the time of his death.

Contact: chris.vetter@ecpc.com

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