Lawyer argues for reduced prison sentence for Ashlee MartinsonSubmitted: 07/27/2017
Ben Meyer
Ben Meyer
Managing Editor / Senior Reporter

Lawyer argues for reduced prison sentence for Ashlee Martinson
RHINELANDER - Seventeen-year-old Ashlee Martinson was "incapable of making rational choices" when she killed her mother and stepfather in Oneida County two years ago, her lawyer argues.

Attorney Mark Schoenfeldt is arguing for a reduced sentence for Martinson, who is currently serving a 23-year prison term.

Schoenfeldt submitted his motion for post-conviction relief on Monday. He hopes to convince Judge Michael Bloom to reduce Martinson's sentence. Last June, Bloom decided to send Martinson to prison for 23 years, to be followed by 17 years on extended supervision.

Martinson pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree intentional homicide for killing her mother, Jennifer Ayers, and her stepfather, Thomas Ayers, in their Town of Piehl home on March 7, 2015. Evidence showed Martinson shot Thomas Ayers twice and stabbed Jennifer Ayers more than 30 times.

Evidence also showed Martinson lived through a childhood of shaky parenting and outright abuse. At sentencing, Martinson's attorneys argued that consistent abuse by her parents was a mitigating factor in the homicides.

Schoenfeldt contends Bloom failed to consider the "adequate provocation" of the abuse in handing down his sentence to Martinson.

"The defendant was not a 'normal' 17 year old," Schoenfeldt wrote. "The defendant was, as a result, incapable of assessing the situation in the same way that a 'normal' 17 year old would have done."

On March 7, 2015, Martinson said she had gone to her room with the intention of killing herself. But Thomas Ayers came to her room, and Martinson asked herself who deserved to die more, Ayers or her. She shot and killed Ayers moments later. But during the sentencing, Bloom emphasized Martinson still had a "choice" before she pulled the trigger.

Schoenfeldt's motion refutes that idea.

"The actual choice that the defendant believed she had, at the moment of this incident, was whether to kill herself as she had initially planned or whether to kill Thomas Ayers," the motion says.

Martinson is imprisoned at the Taycheedah Correctional Institution in Fond du Lac. Unless her sentence is reduced, she will be incarcerated until age 40. She will be off extended supervision at age 57.

Read the full motion for post-conviction relief below.

Related Weblinks:
Martinson Motion Post Conviction Relief.pdf

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