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Murder suspect needs court interpreters, judge says

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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAU) – A Marathon County judge has ordered court officials to find at least two certified interpreters to translate for a Spanish-speaking murder suspect who goes on trial this summer.

Judge Patrick Brady spoke with Raul Ponce-Rocha for about five minutes Thursday before ruling that the 23-year-old has limited English proficiency and needs the interpreters.

Ponce-Rocha told Brady he took three years of classes in English at Wausau West High School but has trouble understanding some legal phrases.

Clerk of courts Dianne Sennholz says she will contact the county’s interpreter services SWITS to find the interpreters.

“We want to make sure he has a fair trial,” she said.

Ponce-Rocha will stand trial June 7th in the May beating and stabbing death of D.C. Everest high school senior Breanna Schneller in her west side Wausau apartment.

Brady will rule April 9th on a change of venue request. He advised Sennholz to prepare for the possibility of finding an out-of-county jury to hear the case.

 

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