RHINELANDER - Ashlee Martinson will stay in prison for two more decades after a court ruling in Rhinelander on Wednesday.
Martinson shot her stepfather and stabbed her mother to death in Oneida County two years ago, when she was 17.
On Wednesday, Martinson's lawyer, Mark Schoenfeldt, tried to get her 23-year prison sentence reduced through a motion called post-conviction relief. Schoenfeldt argued Judge Michael Bloom made an error in sentencing Martinson. Bloom said Martinson had a choice of whether to kill her parents.
"When this fateful day occurred, her choice was completely nullified by the fact that she didn't have any control," Schoenfeldt said.
Schoenfeldt alluded to Martinson's brutal home life. He said prolonged abuse and distress caused her to lose control in the moment.
"This was not a normal 17-year-old that came before the court," he argued. "Ms. Martinson's life had been fraught with physical, sexual, mental, emotional distress. Her life was basically a horror story."
Bloom cited case law, state statute, and legal opinions in denying the motion to reduce Martinson's sentence.
"The Court did not abuse its discretion [in the sentencing] and the defendant's motion, that I find as such, is denied," he said.
Wednesday's hearing was just the first stop in the appeals process for Martinson.
"I would anticipate that this gets appealed to the next level," said Oneida County District Attorney Michael Schiek. "This is really kind of the stepping stone to make that happen."
Schoenfeldt confirmed he planned to argue the case to the Court of Appeals, mentioning he might later take it to the state Supreme Court if needed. Schoenfeldt believes a prison sentence closer to eight years, with Martinson's trial lawyers recommended, would be more appropriate.
"That's the range that I thought it should have been in," he said.
Martinson listened to Wednesday's hearing via phone from Taycheedah Correctional Center in Fond du Lac, the prison where she lives. Barring a successful appeal, she will be in prison until age 40 and on extended supervision until age 57.
EAGLE RIVER - Americans eat more than 46 million turkeys on Thanksgiving Day. That much thawing, handling, and cooking of turkeys means people can make mistakes.
The Vilas County Public Health Department wants to help people avoid exposing themselves to dangerous bacteria. It says frozen turkeys should always be thawed in the refrigerator or under running water.
"You don't want to set them out on your countertop for any amount of time to thaw them because that's when they're going to be in the 'danger zone.' The 'danger zone' is between 40 and 140 [degrees Fahrenheit], and that's when pathogens can grow," said Vilas County Registered Sanitarian Amy Springer.
RHINELANDER - The Rhinelander Salvation Army hopes to raise $40,000 in its bell ringing campaign again this year. It reached that goal during the holidays a year ago.
Volunteers kicked off the bell ringing drive at Trig's and Shopko on Friday. Eighty-six percent of money raised stays in the Rhinelander area to help families in emergencies.
"We're very excited that we're keeping our goal at 40 (thousand dollars) this year, and we're hoping that people are continuing to be generous in helping us reach that goal," Rhinelander Salvation Army Kettle Coordinator Kim Swisher said. "People are friendly, they're excited, they're like, 'Oh, it's bell ringing time!' [That] always means the holidays. We're excited about that."
You'll see volunteers at Trig's and Shopko through the holidays. Bell ringing starts at Walmart next week.
RHINELANDER - Snow plows can't do their job very well when cars sit in their way. That's why Rhinelander's winter parking ban will return in just a couple of weeks.
Starting December 1st, cars can only park on designated sides of the street during the day. On even-numbered days, cars park on the side of the street with even addresses. On odd numbered days, cars must park on odd-numbered sides of the street.
UPDATE: The suspected shooter from a homicide in Tomahawk has been identified as Eric Lee Moen, 32. Tomahawk Police Chief Al Elvins confirmed Moen is being held in the Lincoln County Jail for a 1st-degree intentional homicide charge.
The Lincoln County Clerk of Courts reports Moen is being held on a $1 million cash bond. He has yet to appear in court, but an initial appearance has been set for Monday at 1:30 p.m.
Online court records show Moen was convicted of various traffic offenses. He was also convicted of misdemeanor battery in Portage County from a 2002 case.
Elvins plans to release more information Friday afternoon.
Tomahawk police identified the victim in the city's first shooting homicide in years. Friday morning, Police Chief Al Elvins announced Charles K. Ramp, 52, was shot and killed outside his home on W. Mohawk Drive Thursday night.
Police arrested the suspected shooter, a 32-year-old man from Wausau, but did not identify him. The suspect was found about 130 miles away in Lake Hallie, which is near Eau Claire.
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