October 1, 2014

Husband accused of lighting wife on fire

A retired businessman is facing charges in Madison, after police say he tried to kill his wife over an alleged affair with her boss. 59-year-old Andrew Spear made his first appearance in Dane County Circuit Court Tuesday on eight criminal charges, including attempted homicide, false imprisonment, batter, and criminal damage.

Prosecutors say Spear confronted his wife last week about an email exchange between her and her boss from earlier this month, and accused her of having an affair. Police says Spear then poured gasoline on his wife at a storage locker in Madison and ignited it with a lighter. He then helped put out the fire and threatened her, saying, in the end, he couldn’t kill her.

Mary Spear is the chief legal counsel for the state Health Services Department. She told police that she and Secretary Dennis Smith are long-time friends. Spear and her husband moved to Madison in February from Dallas, after he appointed her to the legal post. The agency refused to comment on the matter.

Spear will be back in court next week and a judge will decide if there’s enough evidence to order a trial. He’s currently being held on a half million dollar bond.