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Surveyors tell deputies they were scared they'd be shot

Wind farm opponent faces possible 2 to 5 year sentence on charges of ag assault with a deadly weapon

Staff writer

Surveyors hired by Expedition Wind told a Marion County sheriff’s deputy they were frightened for their lives Dec. 5 when a local wind farm opponent screamed at them and fired a semi-automatic pistol at the ground, according a probable cause affidavit filed in district court.

Amy D. Stutzman, 46, Peabody, has been charged with three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon after the incident at the intersection of 110th and Pawnee Rds. Depending on any criminal history Stutzman has, she faces two years to five years and four months in prison if convicted, according to state sentencing guidelines.

Her first appearance in court is set for Jan. 6.

A surveyor said she began screaming at them, but they couldn’t hear what she said. She then walked to her residence, from which surveyors soon heard a gunshot.

The surveyors got in their truck, where they were when Stutzman approached firing a semi-automatic firearm at the ground while walking toward them. Once she was within about 50 feet from them, she began firing the weapon at a 90-degree angle at the ground away from the truck. Stutzman screamed that “they had no right to be on her property” and that she “had enough ammo to be there all day,” the affidavit states.

One of the surveyors said Stutzman threw a box of ammunition on the ground as she approached them, and that the gun jammed several times while she was shooting. He said Stutzman didn’t appear “comfortable” handling the gun and said he was “really afraid she was going to shoot us.”

The affidavit states the woman identified herself as “Amy” and chased the truck and hollered at them as they drove off. She told the surveyors to “call the sheriff’s office and tell them to come to Amy’s house.”

After talking to the surveyors, deputies arrived at Stutzman’s residence and confronted her.

“Amy admitted to hanging the ‘No Trespassing’ sign while the three surveyors were attempting to do their job,” the deputy wrote. “Amy admitted to firing the weapon, but only for target practice. Amy admitted that the weapon does jam often. Amy told me her weapon was on the kitchen counter.”

An investigator found the weapon — a black, semi-automatic Ruger LC9 — in the residence and cleared it.

The magazine contained eight rounds. An empty box of 9mm cartridges was found next to the pistol.

Deputies then placed Stutzman under arrest. She refused to wear a seatbelt during transport to Marion County Detention Center, but cooperated with all other requests during the arrest and booking process, the deputy wrote.

Stutzman has passionately opposed the development of a wind farm in Marion County and has been a plaintiff in three lawsuits filed against the county, the wind farm, and the planning and zoning commission.

A hearing on the lawsuit filed Aug. 14 by Peabody farmer Randy Eitzen, Stutzman, and 71 other opponents appealing the commission’s approval of a conditional use permit for the project is scheduled for Jan. 7 — the day after Stutzman’s first appearance in court on the criminal charges.

Last modified Dec. 23, 2019

 

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