A Baraboo man who broke into his ex girlfriend’s home with a fake gun and was chased out with a battle ax reached a plea deal with prosecutors Monday.
As part of an agreement, 25-year-old Alexander Aaron Raymond will serve 9 months in jail with work release privileges. After his release, he must remain under state supervised probation for 4 years.
Raymond could have all charges wiped from his record if he completes all the terms of his agreement, which include treatment for depression and substance abuse and no contact with the victim. He also must pay restitution and other court fees.
Sauk County Assistant District Attorney Michael Albrecht likened the incident that prompted charges against Raymond to “the beginning of a horror story.”
Authorities said Raymond sent threatening text messages to his ex-girlfriend before he went to her Baraboo home in the early morning hours of June 20. One of the messages read: “I hope you sleep well tonight because I’m going to make sure you don’t wake up.”
He later broke into her house carrying a gun and a knife, according to court documents, demanding to speak with her. Raymond told the woman he did not plan to make it out alive, and later told an officer he had plans to commit “suicide by police officer.”
When his ex-girlfriend realized the gun was a fake, she grabbed a nearby battle ax and chased him from the home. The victim was pushed to the ground during the incident.
In court Monday, Raymond pleaded guilty to charges of felony burglary with the intent to commit battery, felony false imprisonment and misdemeanor battery. A misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge was dismissed.
“The facts of this case are frightening for the victim,” Albrecht said in recommending that the judge accept the terms of a joint agreement between the prosecution and Raymond’s defense attorney.
If Raymond does not complete terms of the agreement, he could be sentenced on the felony burglary charge, which carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison. “That hangs a very heavy hammer over the defendant’s head,” Albrecht said, adding that Raymond has no prior criminal history.
Raymond’s attorney, Jessa Nicholson of Madison, said her client has been diagnosed with depression-related illnesses and Asperger syndrome, a developmental disorder that affects a person’s ability to socialize and communicate.
She said authorities committed him to the Mendota Mental Health Institute in Madison after the incident.
“I’m not suggesting that he was not guilty due to mental disease or defect, but I do think the mental health was at a crisis point,” Nicholson said, adding that his mood was further influenced by substance abuse.
She said it seems clear that her client has good character because of the eight letters that Raymond’s supporters wrote to the judge on his behalf.
His ex-girlfriend and her mother also wrote victim impact statements. Raymond smiled and shook his head as he read one of them in court.
Raymond said very little during Monday’s sentencing hearing. He sighed several times while answering the judge’s questions, and declined an opportunity to speak on his own behalf.
Sauk County Circuit Court Judge Guy Reynolds accepted the joint agreement. He described the incident as “sheer terror” and said Raymond had inflicted “understandable emotional trauma” on the victim that she will have to deal with for years to come.
“Those who’ve had what appears to be a firearm pointed at them in close proximity by a person who appears to be unstable and intends to do them harm never forget those seconds,” Reynolds said. “The victim has had some terrifying moments that will last for quite some time.”
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