Woman accused of firing at sheriff’s deputies has first court appearance
A Lake Nebagamon woman accused of shooting at Douglas County Sheriff's Office deputies during an armed standoff last month made an initial appearance in Douglas County Circuit Court on Monday.
A Lake Nebagamon woman accused of shooting at Douglas County Sheriff’s Office deputies during an armed standoff last month made an initial appearance in Douglas County Circuit Court on Monday.
Jessica Gehl, 22, faces three felony charges of attempted first-degree intentional homicide and one count of felony first-degree recklessly endangering safety. If convicted, she faces a combined maximum penalty of up to 192 years in prison. Court Commissioner Rebecca Lovejoy ordered $100,000 cash bail in the case. Gehl was ordered not to use or possess any alcohol, controlled substances, paraphernalia or dangerous weapons and not to contact her husband, from whom she is separated, his mother or their residence.
District Attorney Dan Blank requested the high cash bail because, he said, Gehl appears to pose a substantial risk to the public. She is accused of firing in the direction of three Douglas County deputies, Blank told the court.
Gehl’s attorney, Chief Public Defender J. Patrick O’Neill, said that at first blush the case appears to be a serious matter. But, he said, it is more of a mental health issue than a criminal issue. O’Neill told the court that Gehl’s mental health issues “simply cannot be met in a jail setting.” Following a brief sidebar with Blank and O’Neill, Lovejoy ordered the $100,000 cash bail. She said she was concerned about Gehl’s ability and desire to show up for future court appearances. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Nov. 26.
According to the criminal complaint:
The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office responded to a Lake Nebagamon residence on the afternoon of Oct. 29 after it was reported that Gehl pulled a gun on her mother during an argument. When a deputy and detective arrived at the residence, Gehl fired three rounds in their direction from the residence. A third party indicated Gehl intended to commit “suicide by cop.”
The armed standoff continued until Gehl fired in the direction of Det. Brad Hoyt and a state trooper. Hoyt returned fire, striking Gehl in the right side. Hoyt was placed on administrative duty following the incident per department policy, and the Bayfield County Sheriff’s Office investigated the officer-involved shooting. Hoyt returned to work Nov. 4, according to Douglas County Sheriff Tom Dalbec.