Liberal activist Joel Trudell (43), of Kenosha, was in court today for his final pretrial hearing. His attorney, who is also a liberal activist, asked for a jury trial date today in court. Sulton, who is also the president of the Wisconsin ACLU Board of Directors, unsuccessfully tried to get the charges dismissed calling Trudell’s actions constitutionally protected.
Kenosha County Circuit Court Judge Anthony Milisauskas will preside over the trial. Milisauskas has been a Kenosha County Judge for the last 18 years. Zeke Wiedenfeld, the Walworth DA, is prosecuting the case. He is not known as a good trial attorney, he lost his last Kenosha case.
Trudell faces one year behind bars minus any time for good behavior. On June 21, 2022, The Kenosha County Democratic Party, led by failed senate candidate Lori Hawkins (D) and Jodi Meurhoff (D) rallied democrats from all over the county to oppose a measure that ended a decade-long prohibition against concealed carry in certain county buildings. Trudell is frequently called a “troll” and is commonly seen at board meetings acting “off.” Trudell is married to Kenosha Attorney Kate Trudell of Johnson Bank, who is also a local liberal activist. Trudell was visibly mocking speakers that spoke in favor of the removal of the “no guns signs” at certain county buildings. He was admonished and warned several times during the first 10 or so speakers.
Chairman Nudo at first was very patient with Trudell, telling him to be respectful of other taxpayers. Eventually it was Trudell’s turn to speak. He went off topic and started verbally attacking members of the board by name, questioning why they accepted campaign contributions, which is normal in elections. Trudell started to get uncivil and disorderly, raising his voice and shouting. He then verbally attacked a resident who passed him while getting in line to speak. He received another warning from Nudo. “I’ll get to you next Nudo!” Trudell shouted. After ignoring the Chairman’s repeated warnings, Nudo ordered Trudell to be removed from the podium. Two Kenosha Deputies politely asked Trudell to back away from the podium. Instead, Trudell refused verbally and clutched the podium saying “I’m not leaving. I am speaking!” Deputies repeatedly gave Trudell verbal commands that he ignored. The struggle ended up on the ground and Trudell continued to fight with the deputies.
Trudell was finally cuffed and booked into the Kenosha County Jail at 8:45pm on June 21, 2022 and spent about 12 hours in jail before being bailed out. Many people commented on his and cheered him on for fighting with law enforcement. Kenosha DA Mike Graveley recused himself and asked the Wiedenfeld to handle the case and it took months to charge him.
Trudell’s jury trial is scheduled for October 23, 2023.