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Richland Center man faces charges after threatening Sauk County district attorney

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Sauk County District Attorney Michael Albrecht delivers his closing argument May 24 in the homicide trial against Amber M. Lundgren, referring to Lundgren as a "prolific liar," while Circuit Court Judge Michael Screnock, left, listens. Lundgren's father is being held in Richland County Jail after threatening to kill Albrecht following Lundgren's conviction.

The father of a woman recently convicted of first-degree intentional homicide in Sauk County Circuit Court is being held at Richland County Jail after being charged with threatening to kill Sauk County District Attorney Michael Albrecht.

Mark J. Trefren, 59, was charged June 2 with felony threat to a prosecutor. The count carries a maximum sentence of three years in prison and three years of extended supervision.

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According to the complaint filed in Richland County Circuit Court, Trefren, the father of recently convicted Amber M. Lundgren, sent a number of messages to Albrecht while Lundgren awaited trial and after she was initially arrested in October 2019.

Lundgren was arrested and convicted in the shooting death of Christopher Lytle, of Westfield, in September 2019, which Lundgren admitted to investigators. Her vehicle was caught on security footage from Ho-Chunk casino near Baraboo, where she picked up Lytle before driving to a turnaround area in Fairfield.

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Lundgren claimed self-defense in shooting Lytle, but prosecutors and investigators said she lied as she was fed information from detectives and she instead lured Lytle out to the area he frequented in order to purposefully kill him.

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According to the complaint, Trefren began sending emails in May 2020. The first was from Trefren through the email address of his wife, Ginger, and insisted Albrecht “rethink” the first-degree intentional homicide charge.

“You should be ashamed of yourself!!!!!!” the email concluded. Another, in June 2020, from Trefren’s email address, began with “hey pathetic loser,” and asked whether the district attorney had tried to “ruin any innocent lives” within a week.

“Your selfish and wicked ways will come back to bite you,” read the email. “And I will be there to watch you suffer……”

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In another message referred to when Lundgren was arrested again in September for violating the conditions of her bail, Trefren wrote that he was “not sure why you hate her so much” and that Albrecht was “tearing a family apart with this agenda.” Trefren also wrote “that boy” referring to Lytle needed help and “was progressin (sic) in violence.”

“Remember Jesus will forgive but a dad never forgets!!!!!” Trefren wrote.

Trefren was not charged for those threats until after an altercation he had with Richland County Sheriff’s deputies May 25.

Around 1 p.m., deputies were called to a residence on Honer Lane in Richland Center. A caller said Trefren was “emotional and…attempting to get control of some firearms” there. Deputies found that family members were restraining Trefren in one room and thought he was potentially having a heart attack, but when the officers went to him, Trefren calmed down “a little bit” but said his chest hurt.

He clenched his fists and said he was angry, according to the complaint. He stood up, but a deputy asked him to sit down, which he ignored. Trefren flexed his arms and tried to leave the room, the deputy noted, which prompted the officer to tackle Trefren to the floor. They initially thought Trefren might be trying to take the firearms to harm himself.

At some point, deputies maneuvered Trefren to his stomach and detained him to ask questions, placing him in handcuffs while he laid on the floor. The deputy told Trefren to take deep breaths and his “demeanor changed drastically.” He “apologized numerous times stating that he was very emotional because his daughter had just been found guilty of homicide.”

During this, a deputy noted that someone told law enforcement Trefren was going to take the guns because he wanted to retaliate against Albrecht and that Trefren said “an eye for an eye,” while sitting with police. Once calm, a deputy noted that Trefren said he did not want to harm anyone.

That same day, after Richland County deputies contacted the Sauk County Sheriff’s Office about the incident in which a safety plan was implemented but Trefren was not yet charged, Sauk County Lt. Steve Schram revealed comments made by Trefren during a phone call to Lundgren after she was convicted May 25.

In the conversation, Trefren told Lundgren he needed to retire and “disappear” and “go off the grid” because “otherwise I will end up hurting somebody.” He admitted to threatening to “kill everybody” and that all of his firearms were taken but he demanded they be brought back or he will go get them and that he was not going to “kill anybody, I’m not that type of person, but I want to.”

Trefren made an appearance in court Wednesday, where his attorney, Eric Habich, requested that the $50,000 cash bail ordered in his case be changed to a signature bond instead. He also asked the conditions be modified to allow Trefren to travel outside of the state for work. Circuit Court Judge Michael Kirchman denied the request.

Conditions of the bond require that if released, Trefren not enter the city of Baraboo, not have any contact with Albrecht nor with the district attorney’s office and not leave the state of Wisconsin. He is scheduled to next appear for an arraignment Tuesday.

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

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