Man charged with attempted murder, stealing car heads to trial

Published: Feb. 12, 2020 at 5:29 PM CST
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A man charged with attempted murder in Marathon County will now head to trial.

Manuel Hoffman is accused of crashing his car at more than 100 miles per hour with a woman inside.

Prosecutors say Hoffman went to the woman's home in Marathon County and tried to leave with some of her stuff. When she tried to get her stuff out of his car, he pushed her inside and took off.

That’s when prosecutors say he purposefully removed her seat belt and steered them into a ditch. After crashing the car, he hit her and put her in a chokehold until she passed out. When a bystander tried to help, he stole their car and crashed it before being arrested. Investigators say he was under the influence of drugs at the time.

A detective with the Marathon County Sheriff's Office testified, piecing together everything that happened back in December.

He talked about what unfolded in a ditch along Highway 29, in the moment a bystander tried to help.

"Mr. Hoffman got into the back seat of her car, she got out of her car, and started running across the highway, and then Mr. Hoffman took her car," said Detective Dennis Blaser with the Marathon County Sheriff's Office.

Detective Blaser says Hoffman rolled the woman's car over several miles later and wouldn't get out. Blaser testified that a deputy broke his hand trying to get Hoffman out.

Hoffman’s defense attorney pushed back on a charge of attempted murder, saying he never made any specific threats to kill. A plea hearing has not been scheduled yet.

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