UPDATE: Witnesses testify in fatal drunken driving trial - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

UPDATE: Witnesses testify in fatal drunken driving trial

Posted:
MERRILL (WAOW) -- It was a long day in court as the trial of the Merrill woman accused of driving drunk and killing two women began.
Ashley Baumann, 26, faces seven felony charges, including homicide by drunken driving.

The trial was off to a slow start Monday as defense attorney Wright Laufenberg pushed for an adjournment. He argued he didn't get to look at a seat belt from the deadly car crash. The prosecution called this a delay tactic, and in the end the defense withdrew its motion.

15 jurors, including nine women and six men, were chosen to hear testimony. Three of those jurors are alternates, but will hear testimony as well. The 15 were chosen from a pool of 56 potential jurors.

Baumann sat stoically as the prosecution and defense recounted what happened in the early morning hours of June 7, 2012. Tara Jenswold, a special prosecutor helping the Lincoln County district attorney, says Baumann was driving her three friends to a party when she lost control of her car and went off the road. Baumann was charged in Nov. 2012, after a June rollover crash that killed 33-year-old Jessica Hartwig and 31-year-old Misty Glisch. Baumann and another woman survived the crash.

In court, prosecutors say Baumann was driving at speeds upwards of 84 miles per hour and had a blood alcohol level of twice the legal limit.

"She (the medical examiner) will tell you that hair found in the back passenger window sill was Jerrica Woller. That was her DNA on that hair. And she'll tell you, the woman from the crime lab, that the hair found in driver side window sill had DNA that belonged to the defendant," aruged Jenswold during her opening statement.

But the defense attorney says it's not that black and white.

"If it's that simple then why are we here?," he asked the court.

Laufenberg told the jury his client was not driving and the evidence will prove that.

"Please believe ladies and gentleman that the evidence will show you that what happened there, that event, that odd event somewhere around 3 a.m. was when the drivers switched," said Laufenberg.

The prosecution called four witnesses. All of them lived near the crash scene. Witnesses told the court they woke up hearing a loud boom.

The trial is expected to last seven days.

Circuit Court Judge Jay Tlusty advised attorneys last week that he hoped jurors would being deliberations by May 12, court records show.


Newsline 9 will be in court throughout the trial and will bring you the latest on Newline 9 and on WAOW.com.

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