2nd competency exam ordered for Renel

Defendant refuses to attend hearing, meet with his attorney
Lee Pulaski
City Editor

A request for a second opinion in regard to the competency of Aaron Renel was granted Aug. 31 by Shawano-Menominee County Circuit Court Judge William Kussel Jr.

Renel, a Cecil resident, has been charged with felony count of fleeing and eluding an officer in a vehicle and second-degree recklessly endangering safety, along with a misdemeanor count of resisting or obstructing an officer.

Renel was not in attendance for the hearing, as the jail reported he refused to go to the room where defendants go for court. His attorney, Gary Dodge Sr., said that Renel also refused to meet with him prior to the hearing. Dodge was appointed as Renel’s attorney on Aug. 5.

A competency exam had been conducted on Renel in early June showing he was not competent at that point to stand trial, but with rehabilitation, he could be restored to health to face the charges. Renel, who did not have counsel at the time, disputed the claims.

Even without consulting his client, Dodge made the recommendation to get a second opinion in order to get the matter cleared up.

Kussel noted that such exams could take anywhere from six to nine weeks to be completed.

The Shawano County Sheriff’s Department responded on the evening of May 8 to reports of a heavy truck-type military vehicle on state Highway 29 in western Shawano County travelling down the road with a flat tire, thus causing a traffic hazard.

Renel allegedly led deputies on a short chase, coming to a stop in about a half-mile on the eastbound lane median of the highway near County Road G in the Town of Seneca. The eastbound highway was shut down due to the incident.

Renel, 39, allegedly would not cooperate or exit the vehicle. Because of comments allegedly made by Renel and the conditions of this incident, the Shawano County Special Response Team responded to this scene. Deputies, including trained negotiators, communicated with Renel for about four hours.

About 9:30 p.m., Renel allegedly tried to flee, heading eastbound on Highway 29. Deputies tried to stop the suspect vehicle, using the snowplows in an attempt to perform a moving roadblock. The vehicle then crossed the median and began heading eastbound in the westbound lanes of the highway.

Renel allegedly came back to the eastbound lanes but then again crossed the median and was driving the wrong way down the highway before being stopped by a deputy driving a snowplow from the Shawano County Highway Department.

Renel’s next hearing is Oct. 9 at 9:30 a.m., when it is expected that results from the new competency exam will be complete.