Trisha Stratman found not guilty for role in fatal crash

LA CROSSE, Wis. — A jury finds a former La Crosse County Sheriff’s Department deputy not guilty for her role in a crash that killed a Holmen High School student.

The 12-person jury reached the verdict roughly three hours after it got the case following closing arguments in the four-day trial.

Stratman was charged with homicide by negligent use of a vehicle in the crash that killed 16-year-old Brandon Jennings July 18, 2010 at the intersection of Highway 35 and County Road OT.

Stratman was responding to a fight at Smokey’s Bar in Holmen when she hit Jennings car while driving more than 90 miles-per-hour. Jennings died at the scene.

There were several gasps in the courtroom when the verdict was read shortly after 8:00pm.

Stratman appeared to remain calm when the verdict was read, while friends of Brandon Jennings were seen crying.

Stratman was consoled by her father, former La Crosse County Sheriff Mike Weissenberger, after the verdict was read.


Brandon Jennings’ friends and family declined to comment while leaving the courthouse Thursday night.

Stratman was fired from the La Crosse County Sheriff’s Department after an internal investigation. Her firing was upheld in late September after an appeal.

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