Cloquet woman pleads guilty to assault for shooting, wounding estranged husbandMarie Margaret Majerle said in a Carlton County courtroom Friday that she shot her estranged husband as he sat in a sauna, but she only did so because she wanted to wound him after another man she had been married to said he would kill him.
Marie Margaret Majerle said she shot her estranged husband as he sat in a sauna, but she only did so because she wanted to wound him after another man she had been married to said he would kill him.
Majerle, 36, the mother of three daughters, made that admission in State District Court in Carlton while pleading guilty to first-degree assault in the Jan. 6 shooting of Richard Majerle. As part of a plea agreement, charges of attempted first-degree murder and removing or altering a serial number on a firearm were dismissed.
The defendant also agreed to cooperate with the prosecution in its case against her ex-husband, John Edwin Bemis III, 38, who was charged Wednesday with conspiracy to commit first-degree murder and aiding and abetting first-degree assault.
Chief Public Defender Fred Friedman said that he believes, under terms of the plea agreement, Marie Majerle would serve a 117-month prison sentence, or 9¾ years. A sentencing date for Majerle will be set after Bemis’ case has been resolved. In the interim, Judge Robert Macaulay committed the defendant to the Shakopee Correctional Facility for women.
According to the criminal complaint, Marie Majerle told detectives that Bemis suggested the day before the shooting that they make arrangements to shoot Richard Majerle. Bemis tried to convince her that her husband was the source of her troubles and the obstacle to her desire to leave the state and get back together with Bemis.
In admitting to the crime under questioning by Carlton County Attorney Thom Pertler, Marie Majerle said she wasn’t thinking clearly and was deeply depressed when she shot her husband. She said she was following Bemis’ direction.
“He said, ‘I’ll show you how to do this.’ … He showed me each and every step” from how to load the rifle to how to shoot it, the defendant said. She said she had no hunting experience or any other experience with a firearm.
The clip was full of bullets, but Marie Majerle only shot once, hitting her husband in the left clavicle. She stayed with him as he called 911.
Bemis is being held in the Carlton County Jail on $250,000 bail. His next court appearance is set for July 7.