Several emotional appeals were heard during Feb. 1 sentencing
By Tina Snell, Staff Writer
Kevin Stuckmayer, 43, Pierz, was sentenced Feb. 1, to 90 months in prison for the attempted murder of his wife, Natalie, Sept. 12, 2012. Sixty of those months will be in custody, 30 in supervised release, if he remains a model prisoner. Judge Douglas Anderson allowed Stuckmayer credit of 112 days for time already spent in the Morrison County Jail.
Stuckmayer, who was having an affair, hit Natalie over the head with a board while they were in an outbuilding on their property. He admitted to the crime in October 2012 after being confronted by his wife a month after the incident. He plead guilty Dec. 13, 2012,
Dr. James Gilbertson, a licensed forensic psychologist and family therapist, said to a courtroom with standing room only, that he didn’t think Stuckmayer had a serious mental condition and was not at risk for future violence.
“When Kevin was infatuated with the other woman, he over-used alcohol which could have contributed to his actions,” Gilbertson said. “He was unable to make proper decisions at the time of the offense.”
The subject of probation came up during the pre-sentencing hearing.
When evaluating someone for possible probation, Gilbertson said he rated them in a low, medium or high risk tier.
“Kevin is rated low risk, statistically,” he said. “He doesn’t have a history of rebellion, counter culture, rubbing others the wrong way or not making connections with others. Any of these would go against a recommendation of probation.”
Gilbertson said Stuckmayer had always been a law-abiding person, pleased others, was respectful and a follower. He was not anti-authority. Gilbertson didn’t think there was anything which would derail him in the future.
Several friends and family on both Kevin’s and Natalie’s side, testified that he was a model father, great friend and good citizen. Other members of the families testified he was not to be trusted.
Natalie, was one of those who testified. She said she knew of his struggles and that he had always had problems with relationships. She said she would let him go, but stand by him if he got help.
“He does whatever is asked of him and adapts himself to others,” she said. “He can’t make his own decisions and doesn’t allow himself to be different.”
Natalie said she has always made all the decisions in the family and felt she took the place of his mother. She said it drained her.
“Kevin began to drink when he lost his best friend and when we adopted a child,” Natalie said. “He became another person, then turned to another woman.”
Natalie admitted her actions were not typical, but were God’s will. She said she has kept her faith and if that act (attempted murder) was what it took to get him help, then it’s Stuckmayer’s miracle and her blessing.
“He will have to live with this for the rest of his life,” she said.
Dave Rocheleau, the activities director at Pierz Schools, said he was friend of Stuckmayer’s and that the two had coached together. He said Kevin was great with children, mild-mannered and a good member of the community.
Stuckmayer’s sister, Kristy Millner, said the family was shocked to hear what had happened; that it was entirely out of character for him.
“He’s a great dad, proud of his family,” she said. “No one in his family knew about the affair. We are willing to look after Kevin, Natalie and the children.”
Millner said she didn’t believe her brother was a risk for a future violent act and that if he started drinking, she would report him.
Mike Schaefer, who is married to Stuckmayer’s sister, Marie, also said Kevin was a good father.
“His kids miss him a lot, they love their dad,” he said. “But, they are confused by the whole issue.”
Schaefer said he was stunned and saddened when he heard about the attempted murder. He said he would do anything for Stuckmayer, and would watch out for him.
Another brother-in-law, Scott Ross, said he was shocked with the incident and that he had considered Stuckmayer a friend.
“Two years ago, there would have been no risk of this ever happening,” he said. “But, I was told not to trust what Kevin said because he would only tell me what I wanted to hear. And that is probably what is happening in jail, why he is such a good prisoner.
“Our actions are what define us and he did a heinous act,” he said. “He should get life in prison and we are talking now about probation? The family was looking out for him before and look what happened. No one saw this coming and they won’t see it coming again. I am not comfortable with probation,” he said.
Before sentencing, Morrison County Assistant Attorney Todd Kosovich said Stuckmayer’s mistakes were having an affair, deciding to kill Natalie and intending to kill by hitting her on the head.
“The defense wants a reduction in sentencing, but the victim was treated with particular cruelty when she was left on the ground for 20 – 40 minutes, when Stuckmayer pretended to call 911 and when he pretended to faint. Plus, this act was committed in the presence of a child. A good father? That’s a stretch of the definition,” he said.
The recommended sentence for first degree attempted murder is 180 months. Kosovich said that due to mitigating factors, he would ask for 90 months.
“To sentence Stuckmayer to less than 90 months would cheapen the value of life and reward him for not killing Natalie. He must pay his due,” Kosovich said.
After he was sentenced, Stuckmayer spoke to the court on his own behalf. At one point, he turned around and told Natalie he loved her.
“I thank God Natalie is still alive,” he said. “I am sorry to have embarrassed family and friends and I’m sorry I hurt her.”
Stuckmayer said he was so messed up that he couldn’t stop himself with his actions. But, he also said he got so much out of all this and is a better man for it.
“I will do whatever it takes to be the man I should be,” he said.