BARNEVELD, Wis. (AP) -- Iowa County authorities say a Barneveld man has died in a farm accident.More >>
BARNEVELD, Wis. (AP) -- Iowa County authorities say a Barneveld man has died in a farm accident. More >>
MERRILL (WAOW) -- A jury has found Ashley Baumann guilty of seven felonies in a drunken-driving crash that killed two of her friends and injured a third.
Ashley Baumann, 26, wiped away tears Tuesday as a judge read the verdicts, including two counts of homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle, in a packed Lincoln County courtroom.
The maximum punishment for the seven convictions is more than 60 years in prison. No sentencing date was immediately set.
Prosecutors convinced the jury that Baumann was driving in June 2012 when her car went off a Merrill road at nearly 100 mph, killing Misty Glisch, 31, and Jessica Hartwig, 33, and severely injuring Jerrica Woller, 31. Witnesses said the women had been drinking after playing softball and Baumann's blood-alcohol level was more than two times the legal limit to drive.
Tara Jenswold, a special prosecutor assisting District Attorney Don Dunphy, relied on crash reconstruction data and DNA to prove Baumann was driving.
"Offenses like this that involve a pretty good cross section of the entire community, it's important to put that behind them so people can continue to heal and move on," said Jenswold after the verdicts were read. "It sends a message that while it's something a lot of people in the community do, it's not something that should go without consequences."
Baumann's attorney, Wright Laufenberg, left the courthouse Tuesday before Newsline Nine could talk to him. He did not immediately return a telephone message.
The seven-day trial featured more than 25 witnesses. The jury deliberated about six hours over two days.
After the verdicts were read, Baumann's bond was revoked and she was taken to the Lincoln County Jail.
In closing arguments, Jenswold told the jury the case was a puzzle and that each piece added up to make a complete and accurate picture.
Jenswold argued that photos taken minutes before the crash show Baumann driving.
"Jerrica Woller wouldn't be scared or frightened by Baumann's driving and then get in the car and start driving at high speeds," said Jenswold. "That just doesn't make sense."
Jenswold told the jury to follow the evidence and it will lead them to the right decision.
"The other two women, three women in the car had also been drinking and made choices that night, choices to get in the car with her. But it is the defendant, Ashley Baumann, who made the ultimate choice. She was responsible for those individuals in her car," said Jenswold.
Laufenberg told the jury that investigators missed key pieces of evidence and Baumann was not behind the wheel in the deadly crash.
"You should stop and pause and say no, no, no. There are too many things unexplained in this case. There are way, way, way too many things unexplained in this case," said Laufenberg.
Laufenberg told the jury the prosecution's case doesn't add up.
"The state's key witness is exaggerating for the state's benefit, that's not beyond a reasonable doubt. That's when you go, geez, I'm going to convict someone of homicide when their own doctor is sitting here and going, that's an inch, oh alright you got me, you got me, that's not an inch, sorry about that. That's proof beyond a reasonable doubt in a homicide case? Really?" Asked Laufenberg.
After the verdict was read, the judge dismissed three charges because they were so similar to other charges Baumann faced. But, those charges can still be read-in and considered during sentencing.
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