Prosecutors have charged two Madison women accused of beating a Wisconsin senator during a protest over police racism with a battery
MADISON, Wisconsin ̵1; Prosecutors on Wednesday accused two women, including a high school social worker, of attacking a Wisconsin senator during a chaotic night of violence outside the Capitol last month.
Kerida O’Reilly, 33, and Samantha Hamer, 26, were charged with one count of being involved in a large battery, a crime punishable by up to $ 10,000 in fines and three and a half years in prison, online court records show. .
Both women were arrested on Monday after they contacted police. Both appeared in Dane County Court on Wednesday and were released with signatures. Lawyers asked to drop the charges due to lack of evidence, but the court commissioner denied the request. Both women are banned in Capitol Square and must return to court on August 6, according to the Wisconsin State Journal.
O’Reilly’s lawyer, Nathan Otis, said in an email to the Associated Press that it would be clear that she had not committed any crime and that the lack of evidence would become clear as the case progressed.
In a separate email to the AP, Hamer’s lawyer, Adam Welch, said his client was “absolutely not guilty” and that the prosecutors’ case against her was “shockingly delicate.”
Investigators believe the women attacked Democrat Tim Carpenter during a protest on April 23 outside the Capitol, one of a series of protests in central Madison that followed George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis on May 25.
Hamer approached Carpenter to ask him to stop filming, but other people “sucked in” and attacked him, Welch said.
The protest that night was sparked by the arrest of a black man who shouted at customers in a downtown restaurant through a megaphone carrying a baseball bat. Protesters also toppled two statues outside the Capitol and threw a Molotov cocktail into a government building.
Paramedics treated Carpenter, but he decided not to go to the hospital.
O’Reilly is a physical therapist and Hamer is a social worker with the Mount Horeb School District. It was listed on the district’s website as a resource for high school students and their families who need help with emotional and other issues. The district sent Hamer on vacation on Monday.