Merrill man sentenced to prison for battering officers
Monday morning, a Merrill man accused of a June 2015 battery of two Merrill police officers was sentenced to three years in state prison and four years of extended supervision, by Lincoln County Circuit Court judge Robert Russell.
Kristopher B. Wilmot, 28, appeared in court Monday morning. As part of a plea agreement, Wilmot pled guilty to Felony charges of Battery to a Law Enforcement Officer and Resisting an Officer Causing Great Bodily Harm.
In exchange, additional Felony charges of Battery to a Law Enforcement Officer, Resisting an Officer causing Great Bodily Harm and Misdemeanor charges of Resisting an Officer, Disorderly Conduct and Bail Jumping were dismissed.
In addition to his prison sentence, Wilmot was ordered to pay $9,105.95 in restitution to Patrol Lieutenant Greg Hartwig, one of the Merrill officers involved in the incident.
The Pre-Sentence investigation recommended three years of extended supervision, but Russell added another year based on Wilmot’s violent criminal history.
The charges stem from an incident occurring in the early morning hours of June 7, 2015, when Merrill officer Josh McCaskill and Hartwig responded to a reported domestic disturbance in progress at Wilmot’s address on Pine Street.
According to information released by the Merrill Police Department, McCaskill was the first to arrive and immediately detected the sounds of an active disturbance inside the residence.
McCaskill reportedly announced his presence as a police officer and after receiving no response from the people inside, McCaskill forced entry into the residence and observed Wilmot retreat to a back room of the residence.
Hartwig then arrived at the residence to assist, while McCaskill located Wilmot in another room and attempted to gain compliance from him at gunpoint. In what was reported as pitch dark lighting conditions, Wilmot reportedly attacked McCaskill, striking him in the face.
Hartwig reportedly assisted McCaskill with gaining control of Wilmot, during which Hartwig was struck in the head. Despite sustaining injuries, both officers deployed Electronic Control Devices (ECD) and were able to take Wilmot into custody, with the assistance of arriving deputies from the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office and officers of the Merrill Police Department.
Hartwig sustained debilitating upper body injuries during the incident and McCaskill sustained facial injuries. Both were later transported to Ministry Good Samaritan Health Center for medical treatment.
Due to injuries sustained during the incident, Hartwig underwent prolonged medical treatment leaving him unable to return to duty until December of last year.
“It was a consensus agreement for Mr. Wilmot to go to prison for the safety of the public,” Hartwig stated following Monday’s sentencing.
“District Attorney Dunphy, Judge Russell, the pre-sentence investigator and even Mr. Wilmot’s family were in agreement.”
McCaskill declined comment.
Following sentencing, Wilmot will be placed in a correctional institution as deemed by the Wisconsin Department of Corrections.
Danielle Squires, 25, who had been in the residence at the time and was uncooperative with officers during their search for Wilmot, pled no-contest to a Misdemeanor charge of Resisting an Officer in June. As part of a plea agreement, Squires was sentenced to 10 days in the Lincoln County Jail with Huber privileges.