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Benjamin Sebena Waives Preliminary Hearing; Arraignment Set

The 30-year-old waived a preliminary hearing on Thursday. He is next in court on Jan. 24.

Benjamin Sebena waived his right to a preliminary hearing Thursday in Milwaukee County Circuit Court in the case of the shooting death of his wife, Wauwatosa Police Officer Jennifer Sebena and was bound over for trial.

In a preliminary hearing, a defendant could challenge the evidence contained in the criminal complaint against him and force police, the medical examiner or other witnesses to testify to the facts presented in it. Benjamin Sebena, in waiving his hearing, agreed to those essential findings.

With that, a judicial court commissioner found probable cause that a crime was committed and bound Sebena over for trial.

Milwaukee County Assistant District Attorney Mark Williams is representing the state, and Sebena's attorney is Michael Steinle.

Sebena again appeared in court, as he did in his charging last Thursday, strapped in a wheelchair and wearing a gown and a protective security vest. This time, he did have to answer questions from the bench, to each of which he replied in a clear but flat voice, "Yes, sir."

Sebena's next scheduled court appearance is an arraignment on Jan. 24, at which time he would be expected to enter a plea to the charges before presiding Judge David Borowski.

Sebena, 30, is charged with first-degree intentional homicide in the Christmas Eve shooting. He is being held on $1 million cash bail.

Jennifer Sebena was found dead at 4:38 a.m. by a fellow officer on the north side of Wauwatosa Fire Station No. 1 in the Village. According to police, the last contact she had with dispatch was at 3:29 a.m. Some time after that, dispatchers attempted to contact her and she did not respond.

Sebena was questioned at length the same day and arrested on Christmas Day. According to the criminal complaint, he admitted to police that he had stalked his wife for several days and waited hours for her to stop on her shift at the fire station.

In his statement to police, the complaint says, Sebena admitted shooting her twice in the back of the head with a 9mm handgun when she walked out of the station, then using her service pistol to shoot her three more times.

Both guns were found hidden in the basement ceiling of the Sebena home.

Toni Araiza January 04, 2013 at 08:53 PM
In my naivete I had hoped for a different outcome. I highly expected that the decorated Marine would have been her protector and not her assailant. In my grief, I respectfully will reserve my questions for another opportunity.
Nate Krenz January 04, 2013 at 10:57 PM
Would this story be as publicized if it weren't an officer slain? I wonder
carpediem January 05, 2013 at 12:52 AM
Toni, in a perfect world one would have that expectation. In a perfect world nobody would be trained to kill, either and nobody would have to go through horrors of WAR and lose their mind from it.
Toni Araiza January 05, 2013 at 05:21 AM
I was hoping that for all of the assumptions expressed prior to the "news" that Officer Jennifer's husband was the assailant, that it wasn't him. In my humble opinion, this tragedy could've been prevented. No woman or man is immune to such an event. Unfortunately, we're not able to see in advance what a perpetrator has in store for their victim(s). No report/complaint of the officers home life or restraining order could've prevented Sebena's actions, but she was a sitting duck on the third shift. As usual in domestic violent cases, NO ONE was there to protect her and that is such a helpless feeling.
Deb Strzelecki January 05, 2013 at 06:49 PM
This was the most extreme demonstration of domestic violence. The horrific way it was done would have been publicized if the victim was a police officer or not. The victim was ambushed. Remember Brookfield from a couple of months ago? I'm in law enforcement and DV is way too common. A very, very complex issue.

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