Two Ex-Prosecutors Charged For Corruption After One Bad Decision Snowballs
Kristin Schrank, 33, used to be a sensitive crimes prosecutor at the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office. She also part-time tended bar at Screaming Tuna Sushi & Asian Bistro in Milwaukee.
One night in the Summer of 2017, those two jobs clashed and Schrank, apparently, gave preference to Screaming Tuna. It did not end up well.
Schrank and her former colleague Antoni Apollo, 36, now face misdemeanor charges for trying to cover up why Schrank wrongly dismissed a case against a man who had injured a Fox Point police officer.
It went like this: Schrank was supposed to be the District Attorney on duty for the night of July 16, answering the phone during off-duty hours in case law enforcement needed help from the DA’s Office.
But she also had a busy night at Screaming Tuna and so she asked Apollo, who used to be a prosecutor at the DA’s Office but left in March, to stand in on her behalf.
That night, Fox Point police arrested Orlando Trimble, 43, for drunken driving. They also sought charges of obstructing a law enforcement officer and resisting arrest, a felony, because an officer was injured while taking him into custody. Trimble was injured too, hitting his head on the ground during the arrest. He was taken to a hospital.
One of the arresting officers called the DA’s Office for advice on whether to get a search warrant for Trimble’s blood sample. The officer expected Schrank to answer the phone, but a man answered the instead and advised him to get the search warrant.
The officer asked who the man was.
Apollo wasn’t supposed to advise anybody. “They demanded a name,” he texted to Schrank. “I panicked. I said I was an intern.”
And so the affidavit stated that a “district attorney intern” advised to secure a search warrant for Trimble’s blood.
That didn’t sit well with a Fox Point police captain, who called Schrank several days later to check whether his officer called the right person. He left a message. She called back and “explained to him that she was in the shower, and that it was a friend who had answered the phone for her,” court documents said.
“There’s false info in the affidavit … I didn’t handle it well this morning,” Schrank texted Apollo. “I just acted like Fox Point is crazy … and doesn’t know what they are talking about.”
Schrank wanted to dismiss the case and asked Apollo how to go about it.
“You need to get this situation under control,” Apollo responded. “It’s a crappy case … Say it’s too circumstantial.”
On the day of Trimble’s initial appearance on July 19, Schrank texted Apollo again.
“It’s a private attorney,” she wrote. “Still dismiss? I’m panicking big time!”
“This is so bad. I think we need to come clean…” she wrote, reported WTMJ.
“Never,” Apollo replied.
During the hearing, Schrank appeared and dismissed the case without explanation.
She later tried to justify her decision to the injured Fox Point officer, saying she dismissed the case because Trimble was a former law enforcement officer with medical issues because Trimble was accusing the arresting officers of using excessive force, and also because “juries in Milwaukee don’t like cops.”
After the hearing, Schrank texted Apollo again.
“It’s dismissed,” she said. “It’s going to come out and look like I did it/lied. And got rid of a criminal case to cover my own [expletive omitted].”
Schrank was suspended from the DA’s Office in September of 2017 and left in October.
If convicted, Schrank and Apollo face up to nine months in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.