Neenah standoff suspect wants charge dropped ahead of March trial

WINNEBAGO COUNTY, Wis. (WBAY) - A man charged in a deadly standoff at a Neenah motorcycle shop is asking for one charge to be dropped, and two charges to be tried separately.

Two motions were filed Dec. 27 in the Brian Flatoff case. Flatoff, 48, is charged with 16 felonies related to events of Dec. 5, 2015, when Flatoff took hostages at Eagle Nation Cycles in Neenah.

Flatoff is asking the court to dismiss count six in the criminal complaint, which is Conspiracy to Commit First Degree Intentional Homicide.

In the motion, Flatoff's attorneys say the complaint fails to present facts that Flatoff conspired to kill someone or intended to kill someone when he took hostages at the cycle shop.

Hostage Michael Funk was shot and killed by police after he escaped the cycle shop during a shootout between Flatoff and law enforcement.

Flatoff's attorneys are also asking the court for a separate trial on two counts of the complaint that deal with a situation prior to the Eagle Nation Cycles standoff.

The complaint states counts one and two, Recklessly Endangering Safety and being a Felon in Possession of a Firearm, should be separated from the charges related to the Eagle Nation Cycles standoff because "they are not based on the same act."

Those charges stem from an incident at a woman's home in the hours prior to the standoff. The woman told officials that Flatoff had been drinking at her residence and that he had fired a shot into her wall. He left the woman's residence in the morning and went to the cycle shop.

A motion hearing is scheduled for Jan. 17.

Flatoff's trial is scheduled to begin on March 5. The case has been delayed several times as Flatoff has been through numerous attorneys.

Flatoff has pleaded "not guilty" to all 16 charges against him.

In November, a federal judge dismissed a wrongful death lawsuit filed against the city of Neenah and the two officers who shot Michael Funk during the standoff.

The Wisconsin Attorney General said the actions of the officers were justified and no charges would be filed. The officers said Funk failed to obey orders to drop his gun, and they didn't know whether or not he was the one firing at them.

"Defendants argue that the use of force used was reasonable under the circumstances and, alternatively, that they are immune from liability under federal and state law. For the reason set forth, Defendants' motion will be granted," read the judge's decision.

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