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06/24/86 STATE WISCONSIN v. ROBERT J. BULIK

June 24, 1986

STATE OF WISCONSIN, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT
v.
ROBERT J. BULIK, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT



APPEAL from a judgment of the circuit court for Brown county: RICHARD G. GREENWOOD, Judge. Affirmed.

Cane, P.j., Dean and LaRocque, JJ.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Larocque

LaROCQUE, J.

Robert Bulik, convicted of causing his wife's death, appeals a judgment and sentence for homicide by reckless conduct. He raises eleven claims.

(1) The original complaint charging first-degree murder was unsupported by adequate probable cause.

(2) The complaint contained misrepresentations that mandated its dismissal.

(3) The evidence at the preliminary hearing was insufficient to establish probable cause for first-degree murder.

(4) The conviction was based upon evidence unlawfully seized in a warrantless search of Bulik's home.

(5) Bulik's therapist violated the psychologist-patient privilege with his testimony concerning a motive for the crime.

(6) Bulik's offer to take a polygraph test should have been admissible to bolster his credibility.

(7) Testimony of a defense witness' personal experience with the effects of carbon monoxide on memory and behavior was improperly excluded.

(8) Bulik's "theory of the defense" instruction was improperly refused.

(9) The evidence was insufficient to support a conviction.

(10) A jury poll at the Conclusion of deliberations indicated that the verdict was not unanimous.

(11) The court abused its discretion at sentencing.

SUFFICIENCY OF THE COMPLAINT

A criminal complaint is a self-contained charge which must set forth facts that are sufficient, in themselves or together with reasonable inferences to which they give rise, to allow a reasonable person to conclude that a crime was probably committed and that the defendant is probably culpable. When the sufficiency of a criminal complaint is challenged, the alleged facts in the complaint must be sufficient to establish probable cause, not in a hypertechnical sense, but in a minimally adequate way through a commonsense evaluation by a neutral magistrate making a judgment that a crime has been committed. The magistrate need only be able to answer the hypothetical question: "What makes you think the defendant committed the offense charged?" It is sufficient if the complaint answers the following questions: What is the charge? Who is charged? When and where is the offense alleged to have taken place? Why is this particular person being charged? and, Who says so?

State v. Bembenek, 111 Wis. 2d 617, 626-27, 331 N.W.2d 616, 621 (Ct. App. 1983) [footnotes omitted].

The complaint establishes probable cause to support a charge of first-degree murder of Bulik's wife. The sworn statement of a Green Bay Police Department captain established on information and belief:

(1) Pamela Bulik according to pathologists, had considerable bruising to her body and suffered sufficient blunt trauma to her head to cause unconsciousness several hours prior to death.

(2) Robert admitted to an argument with Pamela the night of her death over Robert's affair with another woman.

(3) Pamela, who died of drowning in her bathtub, had suffered sufficient carbon monoxide poisoning, prior to drowning, according to the medical reports, to render her near comatose and unable to walk and talk.

(4) Bulik admitted that he had to carry her from the family van where the poisoning took place into the house and that he "ran a tub for her and that she must have gone to soak her legs in the tub and . . . apparently drowned . . . ."

(5) The police investigation indicated that the engine cowling prevented Pamela from starting the van from her passenger seat where Bulik said he found her sitting.

The facts recited considered as a whole raise sufficient inference that Bulik was responsible for Pamela's injuries, for placing her in the van, ...


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