Douglas County woman accused of firing at deputies appears in court
A Lake Nebagamon woman accused of shooting at Douglas County Sheriff's Office deputies during an armed standoff in October was bound over for arraignment in Douglas County Circuit Court on Wednesday.
A Lake Nebagamon woman accused of shooting at Douglas County Sheriff’s Office deputies during an armed standoff in October was bound over for arraignment in Douglas County Circuit Court on Wednesday.
Jessica Gehl, 22, faces three counts of attempted first-degree intentional homicide and one count of first-degree recklessly endangering safety. Judge Kelly Thimm found probable cause to believe Gehl had committed a felony. She was bound over for arraignment Jan. 16 and remains in custody at the Douglas County Jail in lieu of $100,000 cash bail.
Wednesday’s finding sent a message that the case is “fairly straightforward at this point,” Douglas County District Attorney Dan Blank said after the hearing.
Chief Public Defender J. Patrick O’Neill, who represents Gehl, reserved the right to challenge the finding after a review of the transcript of Wednesday’s hearing. Such challenges, Blank said, are “very rare.”
The district attorney said the case is still in its early stages.
“I think there’s a lot of work to be done,” Blank said, from finishing crime scene documentation and receiving lab results to exchanging information. “There’s just a lot to piece together here, and then to seriously assess, ‘Was this intent to kill or was this someone on a drunk, high, reckless mission.’ ”
Detective Jim Madden with the Sheriff’s Office testified about the events that occurred the afternoon of Oct. 29 after a report of a woman with a gun in Lake Nebagamon. Gehl cried quietly on and off during the testimony.
Madden said that as the first members of the Sheriff’s Office who responded approached the house where Gehl was, three bullets were shot in their direction, striking the garage.
Detective Brad Hoyt arrived and took a position to the north of the house. He saw Gehl come out onto a second-floor balcony holding a gun three different times within a minute. The third time she walked out onto the balcony, she leveled the gun in Hoyt’s direction and shot at him. He returned fire, injuring Gehl.
“He didn’t shoot until he was fired upon,” Madden told the court.
Gehl later exited the house without the gun and was arrested. Madden testified that about 26 shell casings were recovered from the home, including three in the mudroom facing the garage and one in the entryway to the balcony.
“I think what’s most important to take from this is the good news,” Blank said. “No officers were shot or injured or killed and Ms. Gehl was relatively minorly injured and taken into custody. … I think that’s what comes out loud and clear here, is a very dangerous situation was handled professionally and with care.”