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Shelton abuse charges dropped
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MONROE - Charges of abuse against a Brodhead man convicted in January of first-degree reckless homicide in the death of his 2-month-old son were dismissed Wednesday.

Casey J. Shelton, 33, faced two counts of child abuse, one a class G felony and the other a class H felony. He faced up to eight years in prison and up to eight years probation, if convicted.

The charges related to alleged incidents of abuse against 2-month-old twins Christopher and Charles that took place prior to Christopher's death Feb. 28, 2007, at a Decatur township residence.

A week-long jury trial for the case was scheduled to begin Nov. 30 before Green County Circuit Court Judge James Beer

Green County Assistant District Attorney Jeffrey Kohl said he decided to ask the court to dismiss the charges after he consulted with the victims' family.

"The family has stabilized their lives and has tried to move on," Kohl said.

The children's mother, Amy Uptegraw, "thought it was better to leave things as they are and move on," he said.

Kohl told Beer the prosecution thought it could win the case against Shelton if it went to a jury trail, but out of consideration for the family and their wishes he wanted the court to dismiss the charges.

"Given the fact the defendant is now serving 40 years in prison, we feel the public is protected," Kohl said.

After the hearing, Kohl said the fact Shelton was sentenced to the maximum prison term in January also impacted his decision.

Shelton was sentenced to 40 years in prison and 20 years probation after a weeklong jury trial in January.

Kohl said the maximum sentence Shelton could have received if convicted in the abuse case was eight additional years in prison, but the final sentencing would have been up to Beer and he could have given Shelton a lesser term.

"We decided not to push it any further," Kohl said.

No one from the Uptegraw family attended Wednesday's hearing.

Shelton appeared in Green County Circuit Court with his attorney, Katherine Findley.

Findley told the court she didn't oppose the prosecution's decision to drop the charges.

Two of Shelton's relatives attended the hearing, but neither spoke.

Shelton was arrested in May 2007 and charged with the Feb. 28, 2007, death of Christopher. Shelton was alone with the children on the night of Christopher's death. He called 911 at about 6:30 p.m., requesting an ambulance to come to his residence because Christopher had stopped breathing.

During the trial, Dr. Robert Corliss, a pathologist from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, testified that Christopher died of a brain injury which occurred shortly before his death. He said Christopher suffered from bleeding on both sides of his brain, which is common when a baby has been shaken.

Uptegraw testified at the trial that Shelton threw their son, Charles, onto the floor because Shelton and Uptegraw were arguing. He refused to let her call the police or take the baby to the hospital, she said.

She also testified that Shelton put rags in the children's mouths and towels over their heads when they were crying.

Shelton remains in prison at Dodge Correctional Institution in Waupun.