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John Doe hearing in 25-year-old drowning case ordered

Judge's Gavel By Brian Turner (Flickr: My Trusty Gavel) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Judge's Gavel By Brian Turner (Flickr: My Trusty Gavel) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

JEFFERSON, WI (WTAQ) - A judge in Jefferson County will hold a John Doe hearing to determine if criminal charges should be filed in the death of an eight-year-old boy 25 years ago. 

Officials said Artis Echoles of Racine drowned in June of 1988 while vacationing with his foster family.

Authorities received conflicting statements. Some said the youngster walked away with another child -- while others said a man threw him into the pond and pushed his head underwater to make him swim. 

Artis' mother, Carmin White of Racine, asked that the case be reviewed -- and Circuit Judge Jennifer Weston took her up on it. She'll begin a John Doe hearing December 5th, where witnesses will be called and the extent of the evidence will be reviewed. 

White tells the Racine Journal Times she's confident an arrest will be made. 

District Attorney Susan Happ said she found no evidence that a crime was committed -- and because of the statute of limitations, the only charge that be considered today is first-degree intentional homicide. 

Judge Weston reviewed that contention, and said a second-degree homicide charge could still be sought. Happ again declined to issue charges.  

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