Steven Brandenburg left jail in Ozaukee County on Monday. He is currently facing a felony destruction of property charge and a recklessly endangering safety charge. But prosecutors hinted that those charges could change.
(The Center Square) – The case against the pharmacist accused of ruining more than 500 doses of coronavirus vaccine at a suburban Milwaukee health clinic may be changing.
Aurora originally said Brandenburg accidentally left about 500 vials of the vaccine out of a refrigerator at their clinic in Grafton over the Christmas weekend. Aurora then said Brandenburg intentionally spoiled the vaccine. Now, according to the D.A., Aurora is saying the vaccine doses may not be ruined. The hospital is working with the vaccine’s maker, Moderna, to determine if the vaccine is still viable.
Ozaukee County District Attorney Adam Gerol told the judge in the case that Aurora Health has “walked back” some of the allegations it originally made.
Ozaukee County is working with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Milwaukee, but no one is saying if federal charges could be coming in the case.
If it is, prosecutors would have to drop the recklessly endangering safety charge, and lower the criminal damage to property charge to a misdemeanor.
Gerol told the judge that Brandenberg is an “admitted conspiracy theorist,” and made a “full confession” to Grafton Police when they interviewed him about the vaccine doses. The D.A. says Brandenburg said he left the vaccine out of the fridge because he worried it would harm people’s DNA.
Monday’s court date also gave a window into a possible motive.
Brandenburg is free on a signature bond, which is common in almost all non-violent cases in Wisconsin. He has been ordered to surrender any weapons he has, and to not work as a pharmacist or have any contact with Aurora Health or its clinics. He was fired from his job at Aurora after his arrest last week.
By Benjamin Yount | The Center Square
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Reposted with permission