DA Ozanne talks about Chritton verdict, upcoming trials - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

DA Ozanne talks about Chritton verdict, upcoming trials


MADISON (WKOW) -- The second trial in a local child abuse case is about to begin. Melinda Drabek-Chritton has a hearing on Friday and her trial is set to start April 8th.

Drabek-Chritton faces seven counts of child abuse, the same as her husband Chad Chritton whose trial just wrapped up. The two are accused of keeping Chritton's teenage daughter, known as SLC, locked in the basement of their Madison home with no food or a bathroom.

Last Friday, a jury found Chad Chritton guilty of felony child neglect causing bodily harm and not guilty of misdemeanor neglect. The jury couldn't reach a decision four other charges, including false imprisonment and recklessly endangering safety.

Shortly after the verdict came in, Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne declined to comment. Now, he says he's not ruling out a retrial on those four counts, but focusing on Drabek-Chritton's upcoming trial.

Ozanne says the one guilty verdict could affect SLC in the future.

"The felony conviction is going to be an important factor in juvenile court proceedings that are going to impact SLC's future so when you look at placement or parental rights that's something that's handled by Corporation Council, juvenile court and Child Protective Services."

Chad Chritton's sentencing will be delayed until after the trials of his wife and stepson, Joshua Drabek, who's accused of sexually assaulting SLC. Ozanne says Chad Chritton faces up to three years in prison for the felony child neglect conviction.

Ozanne declined to comment further on the three open cases, beyond saying it was exhausting and difficult.

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