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Woman who authorities say admitted to shooting Westfield man arrested for breaking bond in homicide case
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Woman who authorities say admitted to shooting Westfield man arrested for breaking bond in homicide case

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Amber Lundgren in shackles (copy)

Amber Lundgren enters the courtroom before a preliminary hearing in January 2020 at the Sauk County Courthouse. Lundgren was recently arrested after violating the terms of her bail.

The woman authorities said admitted to shooting a Westfield man in October 2019 has been arrested after breaking the conditions of her bond nearly a year after being released.

Amber M. Lundgren, 37, of Richland Center, faces life imprisonment for the shooting death of then 37-year-old Christopher Lytle of Westfield in September 2019.

Christopher John Lytle

Lytle

Lundgren was released on a $10,000 cash bond in November after multiple appeals by her attorney to lower the initial $500,000 cash bond set after her arrest. Sauk County Circuit Court Judge Michael Screnock approved the bail lowered first to $250,000 in September 2020 and again to $10,000 cash in late October.

As conditions of her bail, Lundgren was prohibited from having any contact with Lytle’s family members, from leaving the state and was required to surrender her passport. Lundgren had been living in her parents’ home in Richland County, where she was required to report to the sheriff’s office each day between 7:30 and 9:30 a.m. while also wearing an ankle monitoring device that continuously monitors her location.

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According to the criminal complaint for the single count of bail jumping filed Friday, Lundgren had checked in daily for roughly nine months, but missed her time Wednesday. A dispatch worker said she notified the Sauk County Jail after the missed check in and told Det. Drew Bulin of the Sauk County Sheriff’s Office that Lundgren came into the Richland County Sheriff’s Office around 12:15 p.m. that same day.

Judge grants lower bail for woman who claims self-defense in 2019 shooting death of Westfield man

In a letter to Screnock, Lundgren’s attorney, Andrew Martinez, said that Lundgren neglected her check-in requirement accidentally because she was busy getting her three children ready for and driving them to their first day of school.

“At approximately 11:30 a.m. she realized she’d forgotten to check in, and she immediately called the Richland County Sheriff, the Sauk County Sheriff and the Sauk County District Attorney’s Office,” Martinez wrote. “At that point, law enforcement had taken no action on her failure to report. ...As the criminal complaint makes clear, Ms. Lundgren continued to wear her GPS monitor throughout this period, and made no attempt to leave Richland County.”

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In the complaint, Bulin noted that authorities used the GPS monitoring system to locate Lundgren, first trying to find her at a local restaurant before tracking her down in a local park and arresting her.

Martinez went on to argue that the Sauk County DA’s argument that the $10,000 cash bond be forfeited was not legally required and “the imposition of substantially more bond is not appropriate and is not required by justice.”

During a proceeding Friday, Sauk County District Attorney Michael Albrecht asked that Lundgren be held on a $50,000 cash bond with the same conditions as in the homicide case. Martinez asked for no more than $1,500 cash bail. Screnock ordered the bail set at $50,000 in cash and scheduled a motion hearing for the forfeit of the previous bond for Tuesday.

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Lundgren faces the charge of first-degree intentional homicide and carrying a concealed weapon after allegedly admitting to detectives that she shot Lytle in a turnaround area along North Hein Road near Levee Road in Fairfield.

Lundgren made a statement to police claiming she acted in self-defense after Lytle became violent in the face of her refusal to engage in sexual activity with him while the pair was driving around the area after Lundgren picked Lytle up from the Ho-Chunk casino parking lot.

Woman accused of homicide tells Sauk County investigators she acted in self-defense during sex assault

According to a report from a University of Wisconsin pathologist, Lytle died as the result of two gunshot wounds to the back of his head and neck area. Lundgren was found after security footage from the casino identified her car as the one Lytle had gotten into the day he died.

Detectives found the weapon at her parents’ home. Lundgren told them she threw the used cartridges in the dumpster the day after the shooting.

Sauk County homicide trial delayed over evidence argument

Proceedings in the homicide case had been delayed in July after Martinez and Lundgren sought an appeal from the Wisconsin Court of Appeals. Martinez said they wanted to admit evidence that had been denied for admission by Screnock. A letter from the court dated Aug. 4 rejects the petition for an appeal due to it not meeting the legal criteria.

Follow Bridget on Twitter @cookebridget or contact her at 608-745-3513.

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