UPDATE: Northwoods woman guilty of all charges in OWI homicide trialSubmitted: 05/13/2014

Adam Fox
10 p.m. Anchor/Reporter

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.

5/13/14, 9:38 a.m. Tuesday

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.

The jury began deliberating Monday afternoon.

It returned guilty verdicts this morning.

Baumann will be sentenced later.

Text Size: + Increase | Decrease -
| Print Story | Email Story
Sponsored in part by HodagSports.com


Play Video

EAGLE RIVER - Every northern county in Wisconsin will make an effort to increase deer populations until 2017.

That was recommended by the County Deer Advisories Committees.

"Deer hunting stays the same," County Deer Advisories Committee Chairman for Vilas County Ken Anderson said. "Hours of sometime boredom interrupted by moments of shear adrenaline rush and I still get that adrenaline rush when I see that buck."

Anderson shot his first buck on public land in Vilas County 56 years ago.

"10 pointer, north of Star Lake in the Bear Springs area in those high oak ridges and everyone says well you're done now, you might as well quit," said Anderson.

He didn't quit. He's hunted in the Wisconsin deer season 58 years in a row. He bought his 40 acres of land in Eagle River in the 1970s. Now he's the chairman of the Wisconsin Conservation Congress and CDAC in Vilas County.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - Most people have a yearly tradition when it comes to celebrating Thanksgiving. For one Rhinelander restaurant, giving back to the community has been a tradition for a decade.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - Many people share a meal and conversation with family and friends on Thanksgiving, but some people could miss out if they have to work or don't have family nearby. 

To help out people who are in that situation, North Country Vineyard and Grace Foursquare Churches delivered free Thanksgiving meals Thursday.

Volunteers packaged meals Thursday morning and started delivering them around noon.

+ Read More

RHINELANDER - A family-favorite pastime of hitting the movies after Thanksgiving dinner could take a bit of a hit this year.

Rouman Cinema in Rhinelander saw steady business early Thursday afternoon.  "The Hunger Games" finale drew the most movie fans to the early showings, but bad weather and the Packers game could mean smaller crowds at night.

+ Read More

Play Video

ANTIGO - A pair of turkeys likely destined for someone's Thanksgiving dinner table will instead live out long and happy lives thanks to their daring escape.

The turkeys were in a truck headed down Highway 29 in Wausau Sunday morning. Their crate fell off the back of the truck and onto the highway.  Another driver called police, but somehow the birds weren't hit by cars.

+ Read More

WAUTOMA - Authorities say they've found a person involved in the fatal shooting of a hunter near Redgranite in east central Wisconsin.

Gregory Welk of Mount Morris was shot just before sunset Monday while he hunted on his land. The 56-year-old was able to call 911 and gave investigators some information before he died at the hospital.

+ Read More

RHINELANDER - Not everyone has time to go to the gym during the holiday season, but there still steps you can take to stay active at home.

"While you're watching TV, you can be on the ground doing sit-ups or planksójust anything," says Sheri Gaber, a fitness specialist at personal trainer at Tone Zone Fitness in Rhinelander. "Just keep moving. Keep that sedentary time down."

+ Read More
+ More General News

Click Here