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Bond restrictions lifted for Kuehni

Rose Marie Kuehni was convicted of hiding in August by a Pierce County jury. The panel acquitted her of first-degree homicide in the case, but was deadlocked on second-degree homicide. She will be re-tried on that charge in December. (RiverTown Multimedia photo by Mike Longaecker)

ELLSWORTH -- A judge lifted bond conditions this week for a Prescott woman who awaits her second trial on homicide allegations.

Buffalo-Pepin County Circuit Court Judge James Duvall said 45-year-old Rose Marie Kuehni is not likely to skip out on bail and does not represent a threat to the public in removing the restrictions.

Kuehni is now free of electronic home monitoring and provisions that restricted her travel to a 10-mile radius of the Pepin home she’s been living at.

She was acquitted by a Pierce County jury in August of first-degree homicide in the 2015 shooting death of her boyfriend, Douglas Bailey. Kuehni’s attorney presented the jury with a self-defense argument.

The jury, which convicted Kuehni of hiding a corpse, was hung on a charge of second-degree homicide, which prosecutors are retrying her on in a December trial.

Duvall said prospect of a second jury acquitting her of a homicide charge -- this time, second-degree -- represents “tremendous incentive to return to court.” He also noted that a not-guilty verdict in Kuehni’s second trial could put her conviction for hiding a corpse in jeopardy.

“There is incentive for her to stay,” he said.

As to her danger to the community, Duvall noted that Kuehni “is not a teenager” and has no criminal history -- or evidence of antisocial behavior. He did concede that the case involves “extreme violence,” but said it pertained to “a particular situation with a particular individual.”

Bailey’s sister, Pekin, Ill., resident Lisa Elwell, sounded a different note.

“I’m scared to death,” she said Thursday after learning the change in bail conditions.

Elwell said she and her sister were filing orders for protection against Kuehni.

“She knows where we live,” Elwell said.

Kuehni’s bail conditions were modified to a $20,000 signature bond. She smiled at the judge as he issued the order and could be seen mouthing the words “thank you” to Duvall.

Mike Longaecker

Mike Longaecker is a regional/enterprise reporter for RiverTown Multimedia. His coverage includes St. Croix County government, higher education and state politics in Wisconsin. 

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