October 22, 2014

Trial begins for Merrill woman charged in fatal OWI

Ashley Baumann

Ashley Baumann

Attorneys delivered their opening arguments Monday in the trial against Ashley Baumann, the 25-year-old Merrill woman accused of driving drunk in June of 2012 and causing a crash that killed two of her friends.

Special prosecutor Tara Jenswold told the jury that evidence in the case would show that Baumann was behind the wheel when she flipped her vehicle into a Lincoln County field in 2012.

Investigators say Baumann was driving nearly 90 miles an hour and was the last person ejected from the vehicle after it rolled over. The June 7th 2012 crash killed 33-year-old Jessica Hartwig and 31-year-old Misty Glisch of Merrill. 29-year-old Jerrica Woller survived.

Baumann had a blood alcohol content of 0.157 when she was tested more than three hours after the crash.

Defense attorney Wright Laufenberg says there are still too many questions in the case, and that evidence will instead show that the other survivor, Jerrica Woller, was the person behind the wheel at the time of the crash.

Baumann faces seven separate charges including two counts of homicide by intoxicated use of a motor vehicle. The trial is expected to last into next week.

WSAU