RACINE, Wis. - A 68-year-old Racine man accused of killing a retired school teacher and robbing her of quarters doesn't want to be present for his trial.
Wilbert Thomas is charged in the October 2010 beating and strangulation death of 67-year-old Sandra Teichow. She was handing out quarters at a Laundromat in Racine.
Thomas's Public Defender Travis Schwantes told the judge Friday that Thomas requested not to be present during the trial partly because of publicity about the case.
The Journal Times reported Thomas wanted to watch the trial via closed-circuit television from the jail.
But Racine County Circuit Judge Tim Boyle said he wanted to avoid potential appellate court issues in the case, so he ordered Thomas to be present when the trial starts Monday.
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