A southeastern Wisconsin man has accused of threatening seven people, including five teenagers with a knife and loaded gun has reached a plea deal and will avoid a jury trial.
Jesse Rutherford pleaded guilty to 1st degree recklessly endangering safety, 3rd offense OWI, and possession of drug paraphernalia. As result six other charges were dismissed.
According to court documents, deputies responded to a home Brantwood Avenue, about 25 miles southeast of Phillips for the report of an armed, intoxicated man. The incident happened May 18, 2013.
Witnesses, ages 16 and 17, told officers they were camping during a church youth group trip when a man stumbled into their campsite, pointed a gun at them and demanded they get on their knees. That's when they say the man said his vehicle was stuck in the ditch they were going to help him get it out.
Witnesses say the they followed the man to the crash scene, but were unable to help him get the car out of the ditch. That's when one of the men said if they went back to the house they could get a truck and pull the car out the ditch. The man allowed four people to leave, and that's when a call was placed to 911.
No one was injured during the incident.
Officers located the man, later identified as Jesse Rutherford, 29, of Big Bend, Wis., sitting in the vehicle. Rutherford told deputies he pointed a gun at the men and boys because he thought they were having a “pow wow”.
Investigators says Rutherford's preliminary BAC content was .13. Due to a prior OWI conviction he cannot have a BAC over .02 when driving.
Rutherford said he had a fight with his wife and that's why he left their cabin. He was on his way back to the cabin when he drove in the ditch.
Rutherford is free on a $5,000 cash bond. A sentencing date has been scheduled for October 30.
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