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Ashlee Martinson's attempt to reduce 23-year prison sentence deniedSubmitted: 09/13/2017
Ben Meyer
Ben Meyer
Managing Editor / Senior Reporter
bmeyer@wjfw.com

Ashlee Martinson's attempt to reduce 23-year prison sentence denied
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.

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