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State Senators okay bill ending felon protection by family members

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - Governor Scott Walker will decide whether family members should no longer be able to protect relatives who commit felonies in Wisconsin.

On a voice vote Tuesday afternoon, the state Senate approved a bill ending the long-time practice of shielding relatives from charges of aiding and harboring those wanted for felony crimes.

The Assembly okayed the bill earlier, and it now goes to the governor.

State law currently allows family members to hide relatives who are wanted, destroy evidence, and mislead police investigations with no consequences.

Shirley George of Waupaca has tried for a dozen years to end those privileges. Her grandson Joey was murdered outside an Oak Creek tavern in 2000, and authorities said three suspects were protected by relatives -- including the son of former Milwaukee police union leader Brad DeBraska.

The new bill would end shielding privileges for a felony suspect's spouse, parents, siblings, children, grandparents, and grandchildren.

(Story courtesy of Wheeler News Service)