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Monico Vacation Home Vandalism UpdateSubmitted: 01/30/2013
Story By Lyndsey Stemm


MONICO - Piece by piece and memory by memory, a family with a vacation home in Monico is recovering. Their home was viciously destroyed by burglars. We showed you their vandalized home last week.

The Oneida County Sheriff's Office arrested all three suspects in this incredible act of vandalism. But the Wierzbicki's will need a lot more than that to pick up the pieces.

This week they struggled to figure out where to even begin.

"We had to inventory each item on each one of these pages," says Brian Wierzbicki, while paging through an itemized list of personal items that were destroyed. Three hundred of them in all.

That doesn't include the major structural damage to the property. There isn't a wall, ceiling, floor, or light fixture left intact.

The family has already put in 60 hours of work cleaning up their home. But for every layer of destruction they clear, they find another.

"They used a pick axe and a wood axe and chopped up the concrete. Many, many things were discovered beneath mattresses and things like that," says Wierzbicki.

The Wierzbicki's are still in limbo with their insurance company. Brian says he'll have to wait and see how the case plays out in court before he'll feel any better.

"There's a really seriously strange mindset that would allow them to do this much damage, with this much violence, for this amount of time, and then just move on to something else," says Wierzbicki.

One of the suspects, 17-year-old Jeffrey Stefonik was in Oneida County Court Wednesday. He's charged with six felonies, including burglary and criminal damage to property.

A 15-year-old is being charged in juvenile court.

Seventeen-year-old Anthony Briggs is also charged in this case, and out on bond.

Surprisingly, we reported Briggs was allowed to participate in a Three Lakes High School wrestling match Monday.

"Something I enjoyed has been destroyed and it's amazing that they're able to participate in something that they enjoy," says Wierzbicki.

We asked Superintendent Dr. Karling why Briggs hadn't been suspended from the Wrestling team, and he declined to comment.

WIAA rules state a player can be suspended for tobacco, alcohol and controlled substances. But it also says they can be suspended for violating the school's code of conduct. No word on whether felony criminal charges count.

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 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 08/25/2016

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:

We'll take you to the Oneida County Courthouse for day 2 of the trial of Mark Spietz who is accused of breaking into and stealing items from a home where a double murder occurred in March of 2015.

Snowmobiling will start in just a few months. We'll show you how snowmobile clubs and groomer builders in Vilas County are getting prepared for the season before the snow falls.

And we'll give you a look at one of the oldest resorts Vilas County has to offer.

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

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MADISON - Donald Trump's Wisconsin director is calling on Democratic Senate candidate Russ Feingold to say whether Hillary Clinton's actions as secretary of state were ethical.

Trump's state director Pete Meachum issued a statement Thursday injecting himself into Feingold's Senate race against Republican Sen. Ron Johnson.

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BOULDER JUNCTION - There's a lot of things you won't find at Aqualand Alehouse in Boulder Junction that you're probably used to seeing in the Northwoods.

You won't find a deep fryer in its kitchen, you won't find any Miller Lite on tap, and you won't find any fish fry on Friday night's.

But you might just find your new favorite pub.

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ONEIDA COUNTY - Within a few hours, a jury found a Fox Valley man guilty of stealing things from the house where Ashlee Martinson killed Thomas and Jennifer Ayers Thursday.

The two-day trial for Mark Spietz, 39, of Kaukauna, finished up Thursday afternoon, following a morning of the defense arguing it was all part of Spietz's job.

Spietz was a contract worker for a company called TruAssets, which secures abandoned or foreclosed homes throughout the country. The company is based in Arizona.

On Thursday, Spietz testified that in September and October, he took ATVs, bows, a John Deere tractor, a trailer and Jennifer Ayers' purse from the house to try and secure it for his employer.

"My experience with the work order is that it is our job to make sure the property is secured," Spietz said. "Obviously if I can open the doors and get into it, anybody can open the doors and get into it. So I ended up removing the ATVs with the trailer and them bringing them back to Kaukauna to lock up in my storage facility where they would be under lock and key for the future for whatever the bank decided they wanted to do with their property."

In the criminal complaint, however, Spietz told investigators he took the purse because he thought his wife would like it.

But the state argued Thursday he technically didn't have permission from the company to be at the house after the first visit. Oneida County District Attorney Mike Schiek presented Spietz with the original work order form TruAssets assigned him. The document specifically stated not to remove any personal property from the house, and that contract workers should submit a bid for the property if they do take it from the house.

Schiek then argued Spietz specifically targeted the empty house because he knew its owners were dead.

"Looking back, what did you think you saw?" Schiek asked Spietz during his cross examination.

"Couple spots on the floor, large, dark spots," Spietz responded.

"Knowing what you know now, do you know what that was?" Schiek asked.

"To the best of my knowledge that's where they were killed," Spietz replied.

Spietz's attorney Brian Bennett said since Spietz is not from the area, he wouldn't have known the homicides happened at the house. He argued there was no sign saying no trespassing, nor had he had any knowledge the house was in probate.

"He used his best judgment based on his experience," Bennett said during his closing argument. "Which makes him quite possibly, if he's a burglar, the worst burglar in the world."

Bennett added Spietz gets little supervision from TruAssets, as Spietz testified he has never met a person from the company.

"It seems like a burden to have to come up here, pick up the stuff, store it, mess around with it, hold onto the titles, make sure it doesn't get stolen," Bennett said during his closing argument. "That's not a jackpot, that's a burden." 

Spietz will be sentenced in October. 

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EAGLE RIVER - The Vilas County Sheriff's Office says no one was hurt after a 48-year-old Mark Mayo of Eagle River threatened to hurt himself with a firearm near Eagle River Wednesday night.

Crews responded Wednesday evening near to the area near Deerskin Road north of Eagle River and south of Phelps to reports that a man wanted to hurt himself and was armed with a 9 mm handgun and two magazines. That report came in around 3:55 p.m.

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MADISON - Five candidates for president other than Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton have met qualifications to be on the ballot in Wisconsin.

The state Elections Commission is slated to approve the ballot on Tuesday.

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RHINELANDER - New ownership will be taking over a major employer in Rhinelander and Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

Oldenburg Group announced today its Heavy Equipment Group has been sold.

That includes its Defense and Mining business units.

J.F. Lehman and Company will take over control of the operations.

The company was founded in 1992 by former Navy Secretary John Lehman.

The former Oldenburg operations will be renamed Lake Shore Systems, Inc.

The existing management team and employees will stay in place, and all plants will operate as normal.

The deal includes the plant in Rhinelander and several facilities in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

Wayne Oldenbug said one of his conditions was that there would be no deal unless there was an agreement to hire everybody...and not close any facilities.


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