Ho-Chunk Casino Killing Trial Delayed By Prison Coronavirus Outbreak

Posted on: November 11, 2020, 03:29h. 

Last updated on: November 11, 2020, 10:26h.

The trial of a septuagenarian charged with fatally stabbing a fellow senior citizen outside the Ho-Chunk Casino in Baraboo, Wisconsin is on ice. That’s after an outbreak of coronavirus in the prison holding the accused.

Robert Pulvermacher
Robert Pulvermacher has yet to stand trial for the killing of Harold Johnson at the Ho-Chunk Baraboo and is currently in isolation, probably because of a COVID-19 outbreak in his prison. (Image: WMSN)

Robert Pulvermacher is alleged to have killed 88-year-old Harold Johnson after the older man tried to collect a small gambling debt.

Parking lot surveillance video showed the two men entering Johnson’s vehicle on Jan 13, 2019 but only Pulvermacher got out. He returned to the Ho-Chunk casino where he reportedly stayed for a further seven hours.

Johnson’s body was discovered the next day, still inside the car.

Authorities launched a manhunt for Pulvermacher, who was detained on January 23 after being caught breaking into a business in Madison. Since then, he has resided at the Waupun Correctional Institution, where he is serving a sentence for an unrelated crime.

Prison Lockdown?

Local ABC affiliate WKOW reports that Pulvermacher was scheduled to appear at a hearing last June 3. But prison officials would not comply with a judge’s order to produce the suspect because the entire facility was in quarantine as a result of an outbreak of COVID-19.

Then, a scheduled hearing for an October 27 came and went, still with no appearance from Pulvermacher.

According to court filings, the prisoner could not be released because he was “in isolation” for at least ten days, and the reason for this could not be divulged.

Correction Department documents seen by WKOW indicate “isolation” is not a word used to describe disciplinary measures.

Pulvermacher’s court appearance has been rescheduled for December 1, but Johnson’s family, desperate for closure, is skeptical that he’ll make an appearance.

“I am not expecting that is going to happen on December 1 either, because of the COVID issues in Waupun,” Lori Udelhofen, Johnson’s daughter, told WKOW.

We did want him in the courtroom for sentencing because we wanted him to have to face our family and all of the people he hurt so deeply,” she added.

Pulvermacher has an extensive criminal history, and once escaped from a federal prison where he was serving a sentence for robbery and weapons charges. He was recaptured a week later.

Another Ho-Chunk Attack

Meanwhile, on Wednesday a woman was found guilty of felony aggravated battery after she attacked and robbed a man at the Ho-Chunk Baraboo back in 2016.

Thirty-year-old Chia Chang’s 68-year-old victim was so savagely beaten he required eye surgery to repair a torn retina.

Chiang had been scheduled to appear in court in 2018, but had twice failed to attend. She reappeared in September 2019 trying to cash phony checks at a branch of the Wells Fargo bank.

She claimed she did not remember attacking her victim with a coat hanger at the Ho-Chunk and that she had an alcohol problem and suffered from blackouts.

Chiang was banned from entering any gambling business and from having any contact with the man she attacked. She was fined $200 and ordered to undergo alcohol and drug counseling.