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Former Ellsworth woman charged with endangering safety

A former Ellsworth woman was charged last month in Pierce County Circuit Court with second degree recklessly endangering safety. 

Mary Lou Spanyard, 57, now living in Augusta, was also charged with possession of a firearm by a felon and disorderly conduct relating to an incident in the Town of Salem.

Her next court appearance is a pre-trial conference scheduled for 3:30 p.m., Monday, Aug. 11.

According to the criminal complaint:

Law enforcement were called in the afternoon hours of June 28 to the residence at W4232 370th Ave. for a domestic dispute, as the female was allegedly inside the residence after firing a handgun through a door.

They announced their arrival and asked for the female to come out. She eventually crawled out a bedroom window, where she was identified as Spanyard. When asked, she told law enforcement the handgun was still on the bedroom floor.

Spanyard was taken into custody and was interviewed at the Pierce County Jail. She said she lived at the house with boyfriend Rusty Wiesender, 55. She explained they had gotten into an argument before law enforcement was called, as she was alleging Wiesender was not allowing her to leave.

Fearing for her life as Wiesender was threatening her and trying to break into the bedroom, she fired a gunshot through the door at about eye level. She claimed a relative of Wiesender stole her cell phone, which played a factor in the argument beginning.

She also admitted to being previously convicted of a felony in Minnesota. A search of Spanyard’s records shows it was for receiving stolen property in 1983.

When interviewed by investigators, Wiesender agreed the phone dispute caused the argument. He also said he called Spanyard names and banged on the bedroom door.

He went on to say he heard Spanyard say she would shoot through the door. As a result, he backed up and stepped into the bathroom, before the gunshot was fired, which all happened in about five seconds, he said.

Wiesender said he left the house and went to work on his truck until law enforcement’s arrival.

Both felonies are Class G felonies, meaning they carry a maximum penalty of $25,000 and/or 10 years prison each if she is found guilty.

Jason Schulte

Jason Schulte is a reporter for the New Richmond News since February 2015. Prior to that he spent eight years at the Pierce County Herald in Ellsworth. His duties with the News will include covering news out of Hammond and Roberts along with action from St. Croix County court system. He lives in Roberts. 

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