By Shereen Siewert

A 32-year-old Wausau man who punched and tried to strangle a woman by pressing a rifle onto her throat will spend five years on probation and one year in jail, a sentence ordered as part of a plea deal this month in Marathon County Circuit Court.

Shane Holster-Gardner was convicted June 17 of first degree recklessly endangering safety and strangulation/suffocation in connection with the case, plus a charge of criminal damage to property in a case filed several months earlier. Additional charges were dismissed but read into the record as part of the agreement.

An investigation began Feb. 4 when police were called to a home in the 900 block of Plumer Street for a report of a man with a firearm who was beating up a woman. Eight officers responded to the scene.

The victim told police she had gone to a friend’s house to pick up a new kitten and when she returned Holster-Gardner accused her of calling police on him earlier in the day in an unrelated altercation. That’s when Holster-Gardner took a rifle and pressed it to her throat, according to the incident report.

Court documents state that the alleged victim managed to kick Holster-Gardner off her and wrestled him to the ground, but he picked her up, threw her back to the floor and backhanded her. The woman was transported to a local hospital for treatment.

Three children were in one of the bedrooms while the attack was taking place, police said. A rifle was recovered from the scene.

Court records show Holster-Gardner was previously convicted of domestic abuse-related disorderly conduct in November 2018.

Circuit Judge LaMont Jacobson ordered a withheld sentence, which means if Holster-Gardner violates the conditions of his five-year supervision and his probation is revoked, he will return to court for sentencing on those crimes.

Jacobson also ordered Holster-Gardner to complete a domestic violence program, maintain absolute sobriety, complete 9 hours of community service per week if not employed full-time or in school, and have no contact with his victims.

Holster-Gardner must also pay $2,129.70 restitution.