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October 5, 2022

Double homicide suspect Ashlee Martinson, 17, is escorted to an initial hearing Tuesday by Boone County Sheriff Mike Nielsen (right) and Chief Deputy Major Tony Harris. Martinson did not waive extradition to Wisconsin, where she is accused of slaying her mother and step-father. (Rod Rose/The Lebanon Reporter)
Double homicide suspect Ashlee Martinson, 17, is escorted to an initial hearing Tuesday by Boone County Sheriff Mike Nielsen (right) and Chief Deputy Major Tony Harris. Martinson did not waive extradition to Wisconsin, where she is accused of slaying her mother and step-father. (Rod Rose/The Lebanon Reporter)
Boone County Sheriff's Office Corrections Officer Jake Kammerer escorts Ryan Sisco, 22, to an initial hearing in Boone Circuit Court Tuesday. Sisco is wanted for probation violation in Wisconsin; he and double homicide suspect Ashlee Martinson were captured in Boone County Sunday, hours after her parents were found murdered in their Wisconsin home. (Rod Rose The Lebanon Reporter)
Boone County Sheriff's Office Corrections Officer Jake Kammerer escorts Ryan Sisco, 22, to an initial hearing in Boone Circuit Court Tuesday. Sisco is wanted for probation violation in Wisconsin; he and double homicide suspect Ashlee Martinson were captured in Boone County Sunday, hours after her parents were found murdered in their Wisconsin home. (Rod Rose The Lebanon Reporter)
3/10/2015 7:30:00 AM
Updated: Teen accused of killing parents held without bond
Medical examiner: Scene was 'horrific'
A teenager accused of killing her mother and stepfather in the town of Piehl over the weekend will remain in an Indiana jail until at least early April.

At a court hearing Tuesday afternoon in Boone County, Indiana, 17-year-old Ashlee Anne Rose Martinson declined to waive extradition back to Wisconsin to face two counts of first-degree intentional homicide and three counts of false imprisonment - five felonies in all.

Martinson said only "OK" after Boone County Circuit Judge Jeffrey Edens asked if she understood the consequences of her decision.

Illustrating the gravity of the charges, Edens ordered Martinson held in custody without bond; she'll remain behind bars at least until a hearing scheduled for April 8 at 10:30 a.m.

Martinson's decision not to waive extradition means Oneida County District Attorney Michael Schiek must formally start the extradition process by filing paperwork with Gov. Scott Walker; Schiek is preparing that paperwork and it could be filed in the coming days, according to his spokesperson.

To the extent Walker approves the extradition request, it would be sent to Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, and if he signs off on it, the paperwork would then be issued to Boone County.

The Boone County prosecutor's office has said April's hearing will be solely focused on extradition and whether Martinson has been properly identified as the person Wisconsin authorities are seeking. The hearing will not concern the underlying charges against her.

In a criminal complaint filed Monday in Oneida County, Martinson is accused of killing her mother, Jennifer F. Ayers, 40, and stepfather, Thomas H. Ayers, 37, at their home sometime between Saturday and Sunday.

According to the complaint, police responded to 1625 County C in Piehl at approximately 10:40 a.m. Sunday after receiving a

9-1-1 call reporting an unknown problem at the residence.

Upon arrival, officers located three children and could see the body of a female, later identified as Jennifer Ayers, whom the complaint described as "obviously deceased."

Oneida County's Special Response Team then inspected the residence and located the body of a male, identified as Thomas Ayers, who was also described as "obviously deceased" in the complaint.

Detectives spoke to the oldest child, a 9-year-old, who advised that Martinson had killed their parents.

That child was in a downstairs living room with Jennifer Ayers when the child heard two gunshots. The child said Ayers went upstairs after the shots were fired, the complaint says.

Ayers is said to have called for the child, who then went upstairs and saw Martinson fighting with Ayers.

Martinson told the child they were going to play a game, according to the child's statement in the complaint, and Martinson then allegedly placed the 9-year-old and two younger siblings in a room, tying the door shut so they couldn't get out. The child said food and juice were placed in the room.

"(The child) stated Martinson said she did not kill mom and dad, but (the child) knew dad was dead because his head was cracked open," the complaint states. "Based on the statement from the children and the condition of the residence, officers secured the scene and a search warrant was requested."

Thomas Ayers's death was caused by injuries sustained from a firearm and Jennifer Ayers's death was caused by injuries sustained from a knife, according to the sheriff's office.

Wisconsin law considers Martinson, a Rhinelander High School junior who turned 17 just two days before the killings, an adult defendant. She faces life in prison and a fine of up to $30,000 if convicted on all counts.

The charges come after Martinson and her boyfriend, Ryan D. Sisco, 22, were detained Sunday evening during a traffic stop on Interstate 65 just outside of Indianapolis. Police stopped their vehicle because it matched one described in a nationwide alert issued by Wisconsin authorities.

The pair were taken into custody without incident, and Martinson was later transported to a hospital for evaluation of minor injuries. Officials have declined to reveal the nature of her injuries and how they occurred.

Two Oneida County detectives are in Indiana and are attempting to interview Martinson, according to Oneida County Sheriff Grady Hartman.

At Tuesday's hearing, Martinson was represented by a court-appointed attorney.

Sisco was also in court on Tuesday but did not have a lawyer. He waived extradition and is being held on $500,000 bond on a probation violation.

According to the sheriff's office, Sisco is not a suspect in the killings and was not at the residence at the time of the homicides. He is not expected to face charges in connection with the deaths, the office said late Wednesday afternoon.

Sisco attended fourth through eighth grade at Minocqua-Hazelhurst-Lake Tomahawk School between 2003 and 2008.

There is no indication that anyone else is involved in the case, according to Hartman, who said investigators are working long hours to find answers. The sheriff's office is the primary law enforcement agency handling the investigation, though the state helped process the scene and is analyzing evidence.

"Basically all hands on deck," Hartman said.

At a press conference Wednes-day, Hartman offered few further details. He said one of the three children had called 9-1-1, and that One-ida County's Department of Social Services is caring for the children.

Hartman said while he understands the public's intense interest in the case, authorities must be careful about releasing more details at this point.

"This is an ongoing investigation that only began three days ago," Hartman said. "There is still a great deal that needs to be accomplished before this investigation is complete. Releasing any further information at this time may compromise the case and hinder Martinson's right to a fair trial."

He added that authorities believe the homicides were an isolated event and that there is no public safety risk to the community.

"The attention of the Oneida County Sheriff's Office, the Oneida County District Attorney's Office, and the Oneida County Medical Examiner's Office needs to be on the completion of this investigation so that the victims, the minor children and the families of the victims can attempt to move forward with their lives knowing the justice system has done its part to hold the perpetrator of this crime accountable. Please allow us to give them the justice they deserve."

Medical examiner recalls scene

Oneida County Medical Examiner Larry Mathein has similarly declined to reveal specific details of the case, but in an interview with The Lakeland Times, he offered some insight into how his office responded.

In short, Mathein was disturbed by the scene.

"It was just horrific," he said. "We don't expect this kind of thing. We just don't."

Mathein said after a security sweep of the residence, he examined the bodies Sunday afternoon.

By 2:30 p.m., both victims had been officially pronounced dead, though that time does not reflect the actual times the victims died.

Mathein then exited the residence so investigators could process it.

He returned in the evening with additional staff; they removed one body sometime between 9 and 10 p.m. and removed the body of the second victim around midnight.

The bodies were then transported to a morgue at Ministry Saint Mary's Hospital in Rhinelander.

On Monday, Mathein brought the bodies to the Fond du Lac County Medical Examiner's Office for autopsies, which Oneida County detectives observed. Oneida County contracts with Fond du Lac County to perform autopsies.

Final reports might not be available for more than a month, according to Mathein, and until that time, the official cause and manner of death will remain listed as "pending."

Mathein said there is still a lot of work to be done on the case, including preparing documentation and working with many family members of the deceased who reside outside Wisconsin.

"We want to make sure everything is done by the book," he said.

Jamie Taylor of The Lakeland Times, Heather Schaefer of The Northwoods River News and Rod Rose of The Lebanon Reporter contributed to this report.

Related Stories:
• Updated: Search warrant sheds light on double homicide





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