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Trials cancelled: Mittelstadt reaches plea deal for arson and attempted murder

By LeAnn R. Ralph

MENOMONIE  —  Although trials were scheduled in June and November for a 44-year-old Colfax woman charged with arson and attempted murder, a plea deal June 10 ended up in the charges being reduced to criminal damage to property and recklessly endangering safety.

Beth M. Mittelstadt appeared in Dunn County Circuit Court before Judge Rod Smeltzer and entered a plea of no contest to a single felony charge of criminal damage to property over $2,500.

Mittelstadt also pleaded no contest to two felony counts of first-degree recklessly endangering safety.

Judge Smeltzer accepted Mittelstadt’s plea of no contest and found her guilty of one count of felony criminal damage to property and two counts of felony first-degree recklessly endangering safety.

Mittelstadt was accused of setting fire to a house at 511 East Third Avenue in Colfax in May of 2014 and was previously charged in that case with one felony count of arson. The house was occupied by Katie Bundy, although no one was home at the time of the fire.

The trial for the arson case was scheduled June 18 and June 19.

According to the criminal complaint, Mittelstadt told investigators she had gone to Bundy’s house to buy methamphetamine but denied having anything to do with setting the fire.

Mittelstadt also previously was charged with felony counts of first-degree attempted murder, recklessly endangering safety (two counts) and one misdemeanor count of resisting an officer in connection with an incident at an apartment above the Colfax Arts and Antique Mall in December when she was accused of trying to attack Colfax Police Chief William Anderson with a machete when the police chief went to serve an arrest warrant on the charge of arson.

Police Chief Anderson shot Mittelstadt in the upper torso with his service weapon.

According to the criminal complaint, when Dunn County deputies arrived on the scene, Mittelstadt was still holding the machete and threw it at one of the deputies.

A trial for the attempted murder case was scheduled to be held in November.

According to online court records, during the June 10 plea hearing, Judge Smeltzer ordered a pre-sentence investigation.

Judge Smeltzer also ordered bond to continue.

A $10,000 cash bail was set December 29.

Mittelstadt remains in custody at the Dunn County jail.

A sentencing hearing is scheduled September 29 at 8:30 a.m.