MADISON, Wis. - Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne is answering questions about why it took his office three years to file felony charges against two men. One of those men was later accused of first-degree intentional homicide in the death of a young boy.
Ozanne said he can't explain the delay in charges against Dakota Black, who is awaiting trial in connection to the death of 5-year-old Brayden Turnbill in October 2013. Black was recently charged with two more felonies three years after he allegedly committed the crime.
"In reality, he used someone's credit card so it's credit card fraud," Ozanne said of Black's latest charges.
Stoughton police said Black allegedly stole a credit card from a McFarland man, and is being charged with felony identity theft and forgery. But the case is not recent. It was referred to the district attorney's office in March of 2011.
Ozanne said he doesn't yet know why it took three years to formally file charges.
"It was an out-of-custody situation," Ozanne said of Black, who was not arrested and held by Stoughton police in 2011. "Obviously we deal with in-custody situations as soon as possible and sometimes we have to ask for follow-up. It takes time for us to get follow-up, and at times when things come back in they may not be on the top of the pile."
Ozanne said he's looking into the issue, but the attorney handling the case has been out of the office recently. Ozanne insists that quicker action could not have changed anything.
"If you're implying that had this person been charged and tried that he would not be out on the street to commit the other crime, that I don't believe to be the case," Ozanne said. When asked why, he said he thought that a likely bail amount would not have kept him in custody, and even if Black was charged, he thought he would have been given probation, as he was on another felony bail jumping conviction in 2013.
Ozanne said he needs to get to the bottom of what happened, and that a new paperless system should help track cases better, but he can't quantify a typical lag time in cases.
The credit card theft victim said over the phone that he had no idea there had been a delay in the case.
News 3 was unable to reach the family of Brayden Turnbill, and Black's attorney declined comment on the issue.
Black has not made a court appearance on these charges, although his co-defendant in the credit card case, Brandon Baird, appeared in court last week.