Paul Krauss met Melanie Mae Miller in March of 2003. He had been divorced from his first wife for over 6 years, with whom he has two sons. Melanie has two daughters, one with her first husband, the younger with her then-current husband, from whom she was separated. The second husband eventually divorced her, and got custody of their daughter.
Paul and Melanie hit it off, and moved in together three months later. On December 1, 2004 they were married. Theirs was a tumultuous relationship, with Melanie moving out, and back into their home three times. In March of 2005, just 3 months after their marriage and without any notice, Melanie moved out, and filed for divorce and a Restraining Order. The latter for no reason. She and two of her siblings signed a 1 year lease on a 3 bedroom apartment in a town 30 miles away. In July of that year, after finding out that Paul was dating another woman, she dropped both the divorce and the Restraining Order, and decided she wanted to move back in and work on the marriage. Leaving her 2 siblings to pay her share of the rent for the remainder of the lease. Less than a month later, the woman Paul had been dating and broke up with because Melanie wanted to come back, was killed in a car accident.
In March 2006, Melanie decided she wanted a divorce again, and told Paul, whereupon they argued, and he left. She called the Sheriff's Office, and told them that he had threatened to kill her, and commit suicide. Paul was pulled over in his vehicle, across the state line in Minnesota, by local police. As a result, and when his vehicle was searched, and no gun or other weapon was found, he was interviewed and released. He was pulled over again on his way home. Back in Wisconsin, he was taken to the Sheriff's Department, interviewed, transported to the Mental Health Facility in Mendota, Wisconsin, and was found not to be suicidal. As a result of this incident, a Restraining Order was issued as a matter of course, instructing Paul and Melanie to have no contact. Divorce papers were filed, and a temporary Decree was issued. This Decree required Melanie to maintain current payments on all household bills.
In April 2006, less than a month later, Melanie began contacting Paul, asking him to come over. They became intimate a number of times through April, including at least one incident, where Melanie went to Paul's residence, and spent the night, leaving behind personal items. Paul had had a vasectomy after he and Melanie married, because they decided not to have any more children, as this was her fifth marriage before her 40th birthday.
During this time, Melanie was not paying the household bills, as ordered by the Divorce Court. Paul not only advised the Court about it, but also attempted to discuss it with her. She invited Paul to come to the house on June 1, 2006 to discuss it. Paul was unable to go, but when he arrived the following morning, he found evidence that Melanie had been "entertaining" a "gentleman caller" that night, and later speculated, that she had meant for him to "catch" her. When he arrived in the morning, she was still in bed. He brought up the unpaid bills, and her promiscuity, and they argued. He left telling her he was no longer going to bother trying to reconcile with her. That turned out to be a mistake.
Later that morning, Melanie called the police and reported that Paul had "broken in" the house at 5am that morning, and assaulted her. Her statement to the police, in the Police Report reads as follows:
"I awoke at a little before 5am to Paul Krauss kneeling on me put a knife to my throat and put his hand over my mouth and told me to be quiet. I tried to scream but the knife was right against the left side of my throat. For the next hour, Paul held me down on the bed and said he was going to kill me or kill himself but that he was not going to prison. I had a knife on my nightstand so he took that away and took my cell phone so I couldn't call. I struggled to get free when I could. At about 6:00 a.m. he led me out into the garage by knifepoint and said he was going to kill himself and I was either going to do it for him or at least make me watch. When I said I wouldn't do either he said fine and grabbed my hands and told me to put them behind my back and then he placed plastic ties around them. Then he put a piece of duct tape over my mouth and grabbed my right arm and tied it to a spot on the wall of the garage. I begged and begged him to stop but he wouldn't. He made a noose with the rope and started to put it around my neck but then climbed on top of my Durango, put it around his neck and stepped off. He hung there for about 5 seconds and said I can't do this anymore and got back on the vehicle. He untied himself and then got down and untied me. He kept saying he was sorry so I did what I could to help calm him down. I asked if we could go back in the house and he said yes but blocked the doors when I went by. I got into the house and ran down the front steps and tried to get out through the front door. He slammed it shut and pushed me down the stairs. Then he told me I needed to be quiet and no one would get hurt. It was then about 8am. I told him my daughter Savannah would be getting up shortly and to please not scare her. He said go into her bedroom and tell her everything is fine. So I went in and I started crying again so she knew something was wrong but I got Paul back out of her bedroom and I spent the next hour convincing him we could get back together and I'd forget the whole thing. He left on foot then down 170th and said do not call the police I won't go back to jail."
This was her story that, aside from all of the inconsistencies in the re-tellings, resulted in Paul Krauss being convicted of multiple charges, and sentenced to serve 24 years in prison. The problem is that the forensic evidence proves that the events described by Melanie in her story cannot have happened. At no time did she say anything about a sexual assault."
This was her story that, aside from all of the inconsistencies in the re-tellings, resulted in Paul Krauss being convicted of multiple charges, and sentenced to serve 24 years in prison. The problem is that the forensic evidence proves that the events described by Melanie in her story cannot have happened. At no time did she say anything about a sexual assault.
Paul Krauss #159659
Stanley Correctional Institution
100 Corrections Drive
Stanley, WISCONSIN 54768-6500
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Paul was arrested as a result of Melanie's story, and was charged with multiple offenses, including second degree sexual assault/use of force, burglary, reckless endangerment, false imprisonment, and violation of the Restraining Order. Paul pleaded not guilty and eventually went to trial, where Melanie's new story included allegations of sexual activity. Paul's attorney was an obese Public Defender, who spent the entire two-day trial wiping sweat from his face, he never raised any objections and stated “I do not object to things because I do not want the Judge mad at me”. He did not present crucial evidence from a forensic examiner, which would have proved that Melanie's story was impossible. As a result of the one-sided Trial, Paul was found guilty of 6 charges and sentenced to a total of twenty-four (24) years in prison.
On appeal, Paul sought the appropriate hearing to raise issues of ineffective counsel, but it was never conducted. Eventually, a hearing was held on a "Post-Conviction Petition" in which Paul presented the Affidavit and subsequent testimony of Forensic Expert Greg Martin, who previously worked as a Police Officer for the City of Madison, Wisconsin for 29 years, working in the Forensic Unit and whose credentials are impeccable. The testimony of Greg Martin demonstrates that the actual evidence tells an entirely different story from that told by Melanie.
Mr. Martin's forensic review of the evidence established that:
1. It was not possible for anyone to have stood on the hood of the Dodge Durango in the garage, due to the lack of footprints, dust removal, scratches and dents. This forensic evidence establishes, to a reasonable degree of scientific certainty, that Melanie's claims that Paul climbed on to the hood of the Durango, jumped off, then climbed back up on it again, cannot possibly be true.
2. The knife from Melanie's bedside table, was not used to cut the ties that she left on the garage floor, as he claimed, but rather they were cut with side cutters or a clipper, due to the microscopic pinch marks in the cut marks. Thus to a reasonable degree of scientific certainty, Melanie's claims and testimony that Paul cut the ties off of her with a knife cannot be true.
3. The ends of the pieces of duct tape from the garage and the bedroom not only do not match each other, but do not match the roll found in Paul's vehicle, despite contrary testimony at trial. This establishes that Melanie tore pieces from her own roll, leaving one piece in her bedroom and the other in the garage, and this roll was not collected as evidence.
4. Despite testimony to the contrary, the pieces of duct tape could easily have been examined for fingerprints or DNA and could likely still be so examined, but were not.
5. Based upon the length of the piece of rope and the 8 foot height of the rafters in the garage, a person of Paul's 6 foot height could not have suspended himself above the floor and "hung there" as Melanie claimed, because the rope was too long and Paul would have been on the floor, not suspended, thereby establishing, to a reasonable degree of scientific certainty, that Melanie's claims and testimony that Paul did so cannot possibly be true.
6. The wire ties that Melanie left on the floor of the garage, did not match the wire ties later found in Paul's truck. They were of different lengths and color, thereby disposing of the false implications at Trial otherwise.
Despite this testimony, the Trial Court refused to order a new Trial for Paul.
In addition to the forensic evidence, which establishes that Melanie's stories could not have occurred the way she claimed it did, including glaring differences in the various re-tellings, there are additional issues with the case against Paul that defy explanation.
1. Melanie could not keep her stories straight about whether she did or did not change her cellphone number and when or if she did so. Notably, after her initial stories about having to change her cellphone because of Paul continuing to call her, she listed the same number on subsequent reports. (Jean Krauss's Exhibits 22, 23 & 24, Statement May 31,2006, Statement June 2, 2006 and "Domestic Abuse Worksheet, June 2, 2006).
2. The timeline of the events of Melanie's story simply do not add up. When examining the timeline she so confidently asserts as to the times each event occurred, and the duration as she states, there is no way that it could have taken from 5am to 9am for the events to occur as she described them.
3. It was discovered after trial that Melanie and John O'Boyle, the prosecutor who tried Paul's case, have a personal relationship, including being "friends" on Facebook, and supported by personal notes sent by O'Boyle on official Pierce County letterhead to a Pepin County judge in a civil matter regarding Paul and Melanie unrelated to the criminal prosecution.
4. Melanie was subject to several "contempt of court" charges relating to the divorce decree that "went away" after Paul was convicted.
There are many inconsistencies between the various testimonies and statements given by Melanie relating to this case, none of which remain internally consistent. The most telling evidence, however, is the evidence that never made it to trial, being the forensic evidence proving that the most critical evidence relating to this case does not support Melanie's story whatsoever, and disproves it beyond a reasonable doubt. Had the jury been provided with this evidence, Paul Krauss would not be in prison for crimes that not only did he not commit, but which never occurred.