UPDATED: Monday, October 8, 2012 --- 5:30 p.m.
REPORTER: Chris Woodard
A Baraboo mother is in jail tonight. Police say she planned to kill her lover's wife.
43-year-old Stephanie McMillen has been charged with attempted first degree intentional homicide, stalking and obstructing an officer.
Police believe she planned to use stolen morphine to kill the woman.
Police say the alleged victim in this case followed her own gut feeling and it may be the only reason she's alive today.
For the 2nd time in a month McMillen was in court today, wearing jail orange and appearing in front of a judge, head down, mostly quiet.
This time those charges are far more serious.
Lt. Roger Brandner says, "It was pretty clear she was trying to kill this lady."
According to a criminal complaint McMillen was having an affair with a coworker who'd ended the relationship.
Investigators say last month she went to the mans home in a rented car, wearing the disguise of large glasses, a wig and a bandanna.
She asked the man's wife for help looking for a missing cat.
Investigators say McMillen tried to lure the woman to a pond in a wooded area behind the home.
Brandner says, "I think her motive was to be with what she thought would be her man."
The woman got suspicious and went back inside.
Brandner says, "The woman got a gut feeling, acted upon that gut feeling and did not go down there or I think we'd have a different case today."
Investigators later learned McMillen had done internet searches on how much morphine it takes to kill someone.
In court her defense attorney, Jay Englund, told the judge, "The state seems to suggest the weapon she intended to use was a needle. However there is no allegation she had a needle."
There was a vial of morphine reported missing from the hospital where McMIllen works.
Brandner says, "We do believe she took that morphine and that is part of the case."
But today in court Englund painted the picture of a caring mother who has no criminal past and has never been arrested.
He said, "This is a 43-year-old woman whose earned the reputation of being an excellent mom, dedicated nurse and strong member of the community. She shares 50/50 placement of her daughter, volunteers at her child's school and with her daughters swim team."
Following court today family members said they had no comment at this time.
Englund also argued McMillen couldn't have intended to kill the victim because even though they were outside together she never attempted to harm her or attempted any physical violence.
Today a judge set bail at 10-thousand dollars.
McMillen will be back in court next month.
UPDATED: Monday, October 7, 2012 --- 3:00 p.m.
Stephanie McMillen appeared in court today through video conference monitors, charged with attempted murder, stalking, and obstructing an officer.
The criminal complaint against her tells a bizarre story of McMillen putting a detailed plan into action. It says she donned a disguise which included a wig, over-sized sunglasses, and a bandana, and rented a car. It says she drove to her intended victim's home, who is the wife of her ex-lover. McMillen knocked on the door, and asked her to help find her cat in a wooded area nearby. The victim agreed to help, and McMillen led her to an area with a pond, where she attempted to coax the victim toward it. The victim was very uncomfortable and eventually went back to her house and locked the door. When McMillen was leaving, the victim stepped out of her house to learn her name, offering to call if she came across the cat. At that point, McMillen told her not to worry about it because the cat was dead.
The victim eventually contacted authorities, and in the ensuing investigation, they found there was morphine missing from the hospital where McMillen worked. Investigators also examined McMillen's computer and learned she had been searching the internet about how to inject a lethal dose of morphine.
McMillen's bail was set at $10,000.
Posted: Friday, October 5, 2012 --- 5:04p.m.
Release from Columbia County Sheriff's Office:
On October 4, 2012 the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office arrested Stephanie M. MCMillen for First Degree Attempted Homicide.
Detectives with the Sheriff’s Office concluded an investigation into the initial complaint from September 10, 2012 where Stephanie M. MCMillen wore a disguise, faked a name, sent emails, rented a vehicle, and was stalking her lover’s wife.
The Columbia County Sheriff’s Office previously arrested Stephanie M. MCMillen on September 12, 2012 for stalking but she was released on a signature bond after making her initial appearance.
The investigation continued after additional information was discovered that led the detectives to see that MCMillen has more sinister motives.
Detectives obtained multiple search warrants and subpoenas for MCMillen’s electronic devices. After a thorough review of those electronic devices, numerous specific searches for Morphine, documents, and inquiries were discovered that painted a picture of her intent and motive to cause harm to the stalking victim.
This investigation also exposed the theft of Morphine from her employer during this same time frame.
The Portage Police Department and The Columbia County District Attorney’s Office also assisted with this investigation.