Man charged in hate crime killing of motorcyclist to stand trial

Daniel Navarro, 27 años.
Daniel Navarro, 27 años.(AP)
Published: Jul. 29, 2022 at 8:22 AM CDT|Updated: Jul. 29, 2022 at 10:14 AM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

FOND DU LAC COUNTY, Wis. (WBAY) - A man charged with hate crimes in the killing of a motorcyclist in Fond du Lac County will stand trial.

Daniel Navarro is charged with 1st Degree Intentional Homicide - Hate Crime - Use of a Dangerous Weapon and 1st Degree Recklessly Endangering Safety - Hate Crime.

Navarro was initially scheduled for a plea hearing Friday. Instead, his defense requested a competency exam for their client. The judge declined that request and ordered the case to trial. Navarro’s trial is scheduled to start on Aug. 8 at 8:30 a.m.

Navarro has underwent two prior competency exams and been found competent to stand trial. Navarro has pleaded Not Guilty By Reason of Mental Disease or Defect

“If needed, the second phase of the trial to address NGI is anticipated to commence on Wednesday August 10. Today, the defendant advised the court that he anticipates testifying during the jury trial,” said District Attorney Eric Toney.

On July 3, 2020, Navarro intentionally swerved his truck into a motorcyclist on Winnebago Drive because Navarro believed Harley riders to be “white racists,” according to the Fond du Lac County Sheriff’s Office.

The victim was identified as Phillip A. Thiessen, 55. Thiessen, a 1983 graduate of L.P. Goodrich High School, was a Marine and later a police officer in Fairfax, Va. Later, Thiessen worked for the Wisconsin Department of Justice Internet Crimes Against Children unit. He had retired and was living in Fond du Lac.

Detectives interviewed Navarro for several hours. They say Navarro claimed he was being poisoned by co-workers and neighbors. He claimed white people make racist comments to him because he’s Hispanic.

“He [Navarro] said that all of the people who cause him these problems in his life are Caucasian or white,” said Sheriff Ryan Waldschmidt.

Thiessen’s family, through the Fond du Lac Area Foundation, created the Phillip Thiessen Memorial Scholarship fund to benefit criminal justice students.

“He risked his life every day and I just keep trying to tell myself, in my head, that this was maybe the last way that he protected and served people by risking his life, that his life is now gone for this,” says Maeghan Greeno, Thiessen’s daughter.

Copyright 2022 WBAY. All rights reserved.