Judge won’t step down in deer-killing case

WAUPACA, Wis. (AP) — A Waupaca County judge is refusing to step down in the case of a rural Weyauwega man accused of running down and killing deer with a snowmobile.

An attorney for Rory Kuenzi, had questioned the impartiality of Judge Philip Kirk. That was because of comments Kirk made when he sentenced Kuenzi in January for killing pedestrian Kevin McCoy in 2004 while driving drunk.

Kuenzi, his brother Robby Kuenzi of Weyauwega and Nicholas Hermes of Waupaca each were charged with animal mistreatment counts in 2009 stemming from the deer deaths.

Kirk denied the recusal motion, saying he was “unequivocally honest” when he sentenced Rory Kuenzi to 23 years in prison on the drunken driving homicide conviction.

The Post-Crescent reports the judge said honesty doesn’t constitute bias.