Armed robbery suspect in court

L’ANSE – Two men accused of breaking into a Watton home and robbing the residents of $10,000 and other items could stand trial together.

Donavan Waupoose, 21, of Stephenson, appeared in Baraga County Circuit Court Thursday morning for a preliminary hearing.

There have been “faltering steps” toward a resolution, said Baraga County Prosecutor Joseph O’Leary. Some of the hold-up is because of the recent capture of alleged co-conspirator Bernard Fish, who has an upcoming preliminary hearing in district court.

“It’s kind of difficult to know exactly where we are until we know where he is,” he said.

O’Leary said he would file to join the two cases together at trial, as they arose from the same circumstance.

A pretrial will take place in late January.

Waupoose is scheduled to go to trial on Feb. 26. The trial is expected to last three days.

Aaron Schenk, Waupoose’s attorney, said he doesn’t oppose a joint trial, but said his main focus is on the trial date.

“I don’t think a resolution in this case is out of the question – it’s something that can still be explored,” he said. “But nonetheless, our point of view has geared itself toward the trial date at this time.”

Waupoose and Fish, 47, of Shawano, Wis., allegedly went to a home in Watton on Aug. 1. Identifying themselves as U.S. marshals, they demanded $10,000 from the residents, also taking wallets, identification and other documents.

Waupoose and Fish are charged with two counts of armed robbery, a felony punishable by life imprisonment; two counts of extortion, a 20-year felony; two counts of unlawful imprisonment, a 15-year felony; and a count of impersonating a police officer to commit a crime, a four-year felony.