Investigators were on the scene of a homicide early Sunday evening in the town of Piehl. (Andy Hildebrand/River News)
3/9/2015 7:30:00 AM Complaint: Teen killed mom, stepfather (UPDATE) Tuesday court hearing expected; cause of death released
By Jonathan Anderson and Jamie Taylor of The Lakeland Times
A Rhinelander High School junior charged in connection with the deaths of her mother and stepfather in the town of Piehl could make her first court appearance Tuesday in Indiana, where she is awaiting extradition back to Wisconsin.
Boone County Circuit Judge Jeff Edens said he expects an initial hearing will be held today for 17-year-old Ashlee Anne Rose Martinson, who was detained Sunday along with her boyfriend, Ryan D. Sisco, 22, after a manhunt spanning several states ended near Indianapolis.
Martinson was charged late Monday afternoon in Oneida County with five felonies, including two counts of first-degree intentional homicide and three counts of false imprisonment.
According to the criminal 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 F. Ayers, 40, 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 H. Ayers, 37, 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.
According to the complaint, 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.
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 could not 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."
The sheriff's office on Tuesday announced it has confirmed that 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.
The state crime lab and Wisconsin State Patrol helped collect evidence.
As that was happening, police were searching for Martinson and Sisco. Authorities had issued a nationwide alert that the two were believed to be traveling in a 1999 Chevrolet Silverado and possibly headed south.
Sunday evening, the pair were apprehended after a traffic stop on Interstate 65 in Boone County, Indiana - nearly 500 miles from where the crimes are alleged to have occurred.
Martinson was transported to a hospital for evaluation of minor injuries, and she and Sisco are being held in the Boone County Jail.
Life in prison possible
Wisconsin law considers Martinson, who turned 17 years old just two days before the killings, as an adult defendant. She faces life in prison and a fine of up to $30,000, if convicted on all counts.
She would have to be brought back to Wisconsin to face prosecution through a legal process called extradition - the return of a defendant to the state in which he or she faces charges.
According to a spokeswoman for the Oneida County District Attorney's office, if Martinson waives her right to extradition, she will be promptly returned to Oneida County.
But if she declines to waive extradition, the DA's office must start paperwork demanding her return. That paperwork would then be forwarded to Gov. Scott Walker, and to the extent he approves the paperwork, it would be sent to Indiana Gov. Mike Pence. Once Pence signs off on the paperwork, it would be issued to Boone County.
Prosecutors would have 90 days to start that process, but the spokeswoman said if Martinson fights extradition, the required paperwork would be initiated immediately.
Because Oneida County contracts with a private firm to transport prisoners, it is unclear when she could be brought back to Wisconsin under either scenario.
Authorities say Sisco is not a suspect in the deaths and as of this posting, he has not been charged.
This story will be updated.
Rod Rose of The Lebanon Reporter contributed to this report.
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