State argues theft charges at home of Oneida County double homicideSubmitted: 08/24/2016
ONEIDA COUNTY - A jury could decide this week if a man stole items from the home where Thomas and Jennifer Ayers were killed, or if he was just doing his job.

Mark Spietz, 39, faces several burglary charges. His trial started in Oneida County court on Wednesday.

Prosecutors think Spietz stole ATVs, hunting bows, propane tanks, and Jennifer Ayers's purse from the house during a series of visits back in September and October 2015.

Deputies were watching the house closely because it's the house in which Ashlee Martinson was just convicted of killing her mother and stepfather, Thomas and Jennifer Ayers.

Deputies used surveillance cameras to track down Spietz where he lives in Kaukauna, which is where investigators found some of the items from the Ayers' house.

Prosecutors played an interrogation tape for the jury on Wednesday. In the tape, Spietz said he worked for a company that secures abandoned or foreclosed homes. He said the items he took would've otherwise been trashed.

Prosecutors called Oneida County Captain Terri Hook, who investigated the case, to show Spietz took advantage of Thomas and Jennifer Ayers' deaths. 

Spietz's attorney will argue that Spietz didn't know about the murders and that he had no intent to steal. In the tape, Spietz said he thought the house was abandoned and claimed he did not know right away that the owners had died. He said he didn't sell any of the items, and he was happy to give them all back.

The trial continues Thursday with the defense portion.

Story By: Stephanie Haines

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What We're Working On Submitted: 08/24/2016

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:

39-year-old Mark Spietz is accused of breaking into and stealing items from the home where Ashlee Martinson is believed to have killed her mother and stepfather in early March of 2017. We'll bring you details from Oneida County court where Spietz's trial is taking place.

And the Northwoods United Way hopes to encourage natural working leaders to bring working skills into their community. We'll take you to Leaderfest in Harshaw where the goal was to help people grow professionally and personally.

We'll bring you the details on these stories and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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