MERRILL - A Lincoln County jury found a 26-year-old woman guilty of seven felonies in an OWI homicide trial, after coming to a verdict early Tuesday morning.
Ashley Baumann faced seven felony charges including two charges of homicide by intoxicated use of vehicle. Those were in connection to a June 2012 car crash that killed, 31-year-old Misty Glisch and 33-year old Jessica Hartwig.
After six days of the jury trial, Assistant Attorney General Tara Jenswold was pleased with the verdicts.
"After a long, involved trial, obviously we've gotten justice for the victims' families and we think the jury reached the right result," Jenswold said.
Defense attorneys argued in closing arguments Monday, there wasn't enough proof to show Baumann was driving, but the jury disagreed after seeing pictures of her in the driver's seat minutes before the crash.
Jenswold hopes the conviction serves as an example of what happens when people drink and get behind the wheel of a car.
"It sends the message that while it's something that a lot of people in the community do, it's not something that should go without consequences," Jenswold said. "And it shouldn't just be accepted because everybody does it."
Baumann was found guilty of all seven charges, but she was only convicted of four. The other three charges were dismissed, but read-in for the court.
Regardless, the convictions include two homicide charges. Each of those carries a 25-year maximum sentence.
The judge also revoked Baumann's bond, meaning she is now in police custody in jail. She had been out of jail, but coming to all of the court appearances because she had only been charged and not convicted of any crime. Her attorney said he will try to get her out of jail on a bond before her sentencing.
A sentencing date has not been set, but Jenswold hopes friends and family of those affected can now try to move on after two years of court proceedings.
"Offenses like this that involves a pretty good cross section of a small community, I think it is important to put that behind them, so people can continue to heal and move on," Jenswold said.
That might not come quickly for any family impacted by the crash.
Monday, the jury heard closing arguments from Baumann's lawyer, as well as final statements from the prosecution.
Baumann's lawyer argued that the state can't prove that Baumann was the one driving at the time of the crash.
Her lawyer brought up evidence that he thinks wasn't collected from the crash. He also said that one of the other girls in the car, Jerrica Woller, could have been the one driving.
"See the wiping pattern, try to figure that out. See the blood, see the shirt collar, see a hand print. Try to find out why there are finger swipes behind a cooler that's full of mud," says Wright Laufenberg, Baumann's lawyer.
The state argued that blood found and a picture taken before the crash proves Woeller was in the back seat.
The state showed a picture of Baumann in the driver seat of the car. The prosecution said the picture, her injuries and hair found in the car prove she was the one driving.
"Misty Glisch had no idea that in the final moments of her life she would capture very critical, crucial, information. Evidence that would help confirm where it was people were sitting in that vehicle. There are actually photos that show the defendent behind the wheel. And everyone in their respective spots," says Tara Jenswold, Assistant Attorney General.
EAGLE RIVER - These unseasonably warm temps can make it hard for snowmobilers to enjoy the trails. The Wisconsin Snow Report says snowmobile trails in Eagle River are overall in poor condition.
On many of the trails, you'll see more gravel and dirt than actual snow.
"You don't know if the season comes to an end at this point because you never know when Mother Nature will throw a twist at things and give you a 20 inch snowstorm because that can happen. You know, the big lake is still open up north and if the winds come down that way, we could see a lot of Lake Affect snow yet," said Eagle River Sno Eagles Trail Boss Brian Scheid.
STEVENS POINT - A former Portage County doctor could go to prison for sexually assaulting his patients. Wilton Calderon pled guilty to three felonies Friday.
Calderon was a caregiver at the Plover Family Practice until leaving it in 2015. He then moved to Connecticut.
At least seven women accused Calderon of sexually assaulted them during appointments. Some patients said Calderon placed his genitals in their hands and performed unwanted gynecological exams by penetrating them with his fingers.
SUGAR CAMP - Update Feb. 17, 2017 10:20 p.m. -- The woman who runs an Oneida County animal rescue could face animal mistreatment charges.
Oneida County Deputies booked Stephanie Schneider on Thursday. She is due in court on Feb. 27.
Last week, deputies removed 39 dogs from Schneider's "It Matters to One" in Sugar Camp and put them at the Oneida County Humane Society.
Police are recommending charges to the district attorney, which include failing to provide food and water, mistreating animals, and obstructing officers.
People who know Schneider say they can't believe this is happening.
"I'm just heartsick about this, and I'm sick at heart for her," said LynnAnn Thomas, a Sugar Camp resident who says she's friends with Stephanie Schneider.
"Those are her children. She would never, ever , ever mistreat them," Thomas said.
But that's exactly what police believe Schneider did. Last week they removed the dogs from the facility after a weeks-long investigation that was prompted by complaints and concerns from several people.
"People that had worked or volunteered there were concerned about the conditions that the dogs were in and the fact that they were not receiving food or water," said Oneida County Sheriff's Capt. Terri Hook.
Those accusations baffle Thomas.
"I been over there several times, it's always been meticulously clean, happy dogs," Thomas said.
Thomas believes whatever condition the dogs were in, they came to Schneider that way.
"She does get some really, really, really desperate cases, and I imagine that they take a long time to heal," Thomas said.
Thomas added she got her own dog from It Matters To One a few years ago.
"I got my little Hankey, he came in in really bad shape, and she wouldn't let me have him until he was nursed back to health," Thomas said.
Since the dogs were removed, It Matters to One posted certificates of veterinary inspections on its Facebook page for most of the 39 dogs. The Sheriff's Office has seen those and is including them in its investigation, which is ongoing and may not end soon.
"Just to ensure that all the dogs are healed and make sure they've received all the care they need," Hook said.
Newswatch 12 has reached out to It Matters to One and has been communicating with the rescue via email.
The state Department of Agriculture Trade and Consumer Protection is helping the sheriff's office with its investigation and will decide if the rescue can keep its license.
Newswatch 12 also reached out to the veterinarian who conducted the inspections for the rescue, but has not yet heard back.
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