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Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Court considers Milberg's ability to stand trial

ELLSWORTH -  In the case of the state vs. Kari Jo Milberg, a hearing was held Monday, June 6 at the Pierce County Courthouse to determine her competency to stand trial.

Milberg, 35, of Centuria is being charged with three counts of felony homicide by negligent operation of a vehicle plus reckless driving causing bodily harm, which is a misdemeanor. The charges come from a fatal two-vehicle accident Milberg was a part of back in December of 2013 which her 11-year old daughter Lydia, and two five-year old nieces Clara Pavek of Prescott and Laynie Jo Amos of Amery died while both her son Easton and Milberg herself were injured. The charges were brought in February of 2015.


The injuries suffered by Milberg during the accident, including injuries to the brain, bleeding on the brain and swelling along with her being in a coma after being ejected 20 feet from the 2005 Saturn Vue she was driving, are believed to have caused her to have amnesia and memory loss both about the accident itself and in her everyday life which her attorney Aaron Nelson believes makes her unable to contribute to her own defense during a protracted trial.

“We have doctor’s reports which agree she has amnesia,” Nelson said. “In that regard she cannot make decisions in her own trial or be able to bring forth remembered testimony about the accident.”

Nelson produced as an expert witness Dr. Brian Stress, a state licensed psychologist with a private practice in Eau Claire who has worked in criminal cases before for the state and for defense teams, especially psychological evaluations. His written report and his testimony bolstered the defense’s claim of amnesia affecting Milberg’s ability to stand trial.  His testimony took up most of the time in the hearing.

Read more about this story in this week's print edition of the Prescott Journal, on newsstands and around town today.

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