Victim’s mother pleads no contest
Homicide charge dismissed against Waupaca woman
By Robert Cloud
Tiffany Powell, 36, Waupaca, pleaded no contest to a felony charges of reckless endangerment with a weapon and felon in possession of a firearm Friday, Dec. 2.
Waupaca County Judge Vicki Clussman dismissed a first-degree reckless homicide charge, but read it into the court record.
Powell was convicted for her role in the shooting of her son, Ryelee Manete-Powell, who was 18 when he died on Oct. 19, 2020.
According to the criminal complaint, William Zelenski, 46, Waupaca, called 911 multiple times earlier the day of the shooting to report a burglary at his home the previous week.
He told dispatch that someone stole two handguns, alcohol, a lizard valued at $17,000, a baby python valued at $7,000, a 2-foot crocodile valued at $2,000 and a boa constrictor.
Zelenski calls 911 again
At 10:25 p.m. on Oct. 19, Zelenski called 911 again and said he confronted Manete-Powell about the burglary. He said the teen attacked him and that he shot Manete-Powell.
Powell, who was with Zelenski at the time of the shooting, said Zelenski learned that her son and a friend had taken his reptiles to the friend’s home.
Zelenski was driving there to confront Manete-Powell.
They found him near the corner of Van and Shearer streets in Waupaca.
A nearby home had a security doorbell system that recorded some of the altercation.
The video shows Zelenski and Manete-Powell circling each other in a fighting stance, the complaint says.
Zelenski was reportedly holding a double-barreled 12-gauge shotgun, which he handed to Powell.
The video then shows Powell pointing the gun at her son.
Powell then handed the shotgun back to Zelenski.
The victim “was heard yelling at Zelenski to put the gun down and fight like a man,” the complaint says.
A witness who lives nearby told police she heard a gunshot, looked out the window and saw Zelenski and Powell sitting in a car.
She said she saw “a lump of something directly behind his vehicle” and thought they hit a pedestrian.
The witness ran outside and recognized the person lying on the ground as Powell’s son.
Powell has been in custody on a $500,000 cash bond since her arrest in October 2020.
She is scheduled for sentencing on Feb. 6, 2023.
Charged with first-degree intentional homicide, Zelenski remains in custody on a $1 million cash bond.
No trial date has been set and his next court appearance is scheduled for Feb. 22, 2023.