A Portage man was placed on six years of probation after entering pleas of no contest to misdemeanor charges after a gun was drawn in a domestic argument.
Nathaniel Raimer, 31, appeared Tuesday before Judge James Miller in Columbia County Circuit Court for a plea and sentencing hearing regarding charges of felony second-degree reckless endangerment and misdemeanors including intentionally pointing a firearm at a person, carrying a concealed weapon and disorderly conduct.
Also attached was a subsequent case in which he was charged with felony bail jumping.
District Attorney Jane Kohlwey recommended an agreement in which Raimer would plead no contest to the three misdemeanor counts with the felony count and bail jumping case dismissed.
“To the best of my knowledge, the defendant has no prior criminal history,” Kohlwey said, explaining the sentence recommendation of probation, conditioned on anger management, paying restitution and surrendering the firearm in question.
“This appears to be centered around the breakup of his marriage and it is because of those two factors that I am not recommending more jail time,” she said.
The incident started Oct. 24, 2016, according to Raimer’s wife, as an argument at their home in Portage, which ended with her leaving and driving to Pardeeville. Once there, she told officers, she saw Raimer driving behind her on Highway 22. Both vehicles then stopped at a Pardeeville home where the argument continued.
The homeowner came out to tell Raimer to get off of his property. As he approached Raimer, the woman told officers, Raimer pulled a revolver out from the back of his waistband, pointing it at the man at about waist level.
“What are you going to do, shoot me?” the man reportedly said, with Raimer allegedly replying, “Do you want me to?”
The argument ended as Raimer drove away and the man called the police. A warning was forwarded to the Pardeeville schools, which pulled students in from lunch as a result.
In the days leading up to the incident, according to Raimer’s wife, Raimer had spread out two pistols and several large knives across the kitchen table, which she took as a threat.
Raimer was arrested later on the day of the confrontation and appeared in Columbia County Circuit Court for a bond hearing that afternoon, released on a $2,000 signature bond. The next day, he was arrested again after Portage police found him in contact with his wife in violation of bond conditions and a temporary restraining order filed the day before. On Oct. 26, 2016, Raimer was released again on a $2,000 signature bond.
In court Tuesday, defense attorney Amanda Riek requested a clarification to the order that the gun in the incident be destroyed or passed to ownership by someone else. The revolver, Riek explained, was a family heirloom and Raimer had hoped to turn it over to his father. Kohlwey had no objection and so it was ordered turned over to Raimer’s father.
“I can certainly understand if somebody pointed a gun at me, I would be upset and I don’t know anybody that wouldn’t,” Miller said. “I am terribly concerned about people who resort to the use of firearms for anything and it is almost epidemic.”
Miller told Raimer that the recommendation of probation could be seen as lenient given a weapon was involved, but that the process of probation would be onerous or at the least posing a prolonged inconvenience in Raimer’s life.