Somerset man pleads not guilty to false imprisonment, other charges
Before he entered six not guilty pleas in St. Croix County Circuit Court Friday morning, attorney Barry Lundeen claimed the night his client allegedly followed a woman home before driving her to his house where he held her and threatened to kill them both was a singular alcohol-induced incident.
Lundeen also told Judge Michael Waterman his client — 30-year-old Somerset resident Jared Alan Wang — has since taken a more active role in his church and is taking steps to ensure he remains sober for the rest of his life.
Wang was charged with felony burglary, felony substantial battery and felony false imprisonment (the final two charges carry a domestic abuse modifier) as well as misdemeanor battery, disorderly conduct and criminal damage to property.
All charges stem from a disagreement the evening of March 2, according to a criminal complaint, during which Wang followed the victim home, kicked in her door and carried her to his car.
He then allegedly drove her to his house, threw her into a wall, broke her tooth and hit her repeatedly in the back of the head.
Upon entering Wang's residence to execute a search warrant, the complaint states police found blood smeared throughout the second floor, a broken wall in the foyer as well as a bedroom and four firearms including a shotgun with one round in the chamber and two others on the floor.
"This is third-party reporting," Lundeen said of the claims in the criminal complaint, which states authorities were informed of the incident by someone close to the victim.
Lundeen's statements were made in support of the victim's request to modify Wang's bond conditions from no contact to no abusive contact.
Wang was released on $10,000 cash bond March 7.
"This was a one-time thing and I think it was because of alcohol consumption," Lundeen said.
The complaint, however, states authorities were told the victim received multiple warning messages from a former acquaintance of Wang's, who didn't report her own abuse because Wang threatened to kill her and her children.
"It seemed as though the women who have been involved with Jared are all aware of each other's abuses," an officer wrote in his report.
The victim told police she didn't want to get Wang in trouble, according to the complaint, and said he "had a bad day."
St. Croix County District Attorney Michael Nieskes objected to the bond modification request and said there's no proof Wang won't do this again.
Waterman denied the petition for bond modification, citing lack of new information. Waterman also ordered a domestic violence assessment be completed before readdressing the issue.
Wang faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison and a $50,000 fine for felony burglary, three years, six months and a $10,000 fine for substantial battery, and six years in prison and a $10,000 fine for false imprisonment.