ELLSWORTH – In tough and emotional testimony, Rose Marie Kuehni the 45 –year old Prescott woman charged with first degree murder and hiding the corpse of Douglas Bailey, 51, also of Prescott, defended her actions during testimony she made from the witness stand on Monday, Aug. 15, the start of the second week of the trial at the Pierce County Courthouse.
Kuehni stated in court in sworn testimony to the jury of nine men and five women when questioned by her attorney Mark Gherty that Bailey had mentally and physically assaulted her for a period of four years since they were brought together in a “commitment ceremony” held in July 2011. She stated they had started dating each other in 2009 after she filed for divorce from her former husband Tony. She knew Bailey, a truck driver, as a neighbor to Kuehni’s grandmother living in Iowa and who looked after her as she lived alone after the death of Kuehni’s grandfather in 2006. They lived together in an apartment on Helen St. in Prescott with her young-son Wyatt that same year. Kuehni, who has an engineering degree from Ohio State University, taught construction engineering courses at the University of Minnesota and was consultant on construction projects.
After the commitment ceremony, according to Kuehni’s sworn testimony, is when Bailey became controlling to her movements, what she wore, whom she spoke to or visited, including her family. He would often accuse her of having affairs and get angry at her because of it even though, according to Kuehni, Bailey repeatedly had affairs of his own with numerous women that she said she had a list of. These attempts at control degenerated into violence against her, particularly a period of three weeks after Father’s Day 2012 when she accused Bailey of physical, sexual and mental torture in an attempt to, “break her”. She took pictures and began documenting Bailey’s violence and angry behavior in journals and in self-taped videos, largely the result of his heavy drinking and moments where he “blacked out” according to Kuehni. She also stated there were times when he was suicidal. Some of the pictures she took were displayed in court as evidence exhibits, particularly those of heavy bruises to her on a projection screen. She said she covered up these bruises out in public wearing heavy make-up and long-sleeved clothing and made excuses like being hurt while playing hockey with her son and their friends.
Read more of this story in this week's edition of the Prescott Journal on newsstands and in town Wednesday.