By Robb Murray
Free Press Staff Writer
MANKATO — A Mankato woman has been charged with assault for arranging the beating of her husband by two men wielding baseball bats, authorities say.
Ashley Alexandra Stillwell, 24, has been charged with second-degree assault (with a dangerous weapon). Authorities say she left the house after an argument with her husband, and returned with two men and bats who proceeded to beat strike him several times, including several times in the presence of his children.
During the investigation, Blue Earth County Sheriff’s Department investigators say Stillwell changed her version of events several times. Finally, they say, she confessed to having “something to do with this.”
Stillwell’s husband told authorities this version of events:
On Jan. 8, he and Stillwell had an argument over bills and she left the residence. Some time later, she returned with two men in dark, hooded sweatshirts. Each man had an aluminum baseball bat.
The husband, Gary Stillwell, asked the men to leave but they refused, instead beginning an assault on him. During the assault, Gary Stillwill told authorities, he overheard his wife, who was holding one of their children, yell, “Not in front of my babies.”
Gary Stillwell told authorities he was struck with a bat and kicked in the face, and struck with a bat four to five times at different places on his body. One of the children present confirmed their father was attacked by men wielding bats.
After the alleged assault, Gary Stillwell told police he found a key on the floor. Investigators tracked that key down to a Jeep they found abandoned on the roadway not far from the Stillwell residence.
Authorities say Ashley Stillwell admitted to asking the Jeep’s owner and another man to come to the house. She told them that while the assault was taking place she “ran out the door and hid near the Jeep.”
No others had been charged in the case as of Monday afternoon.
In a search warrant filed in this case, authorities said that, when initially questioned, Ashley Stillwell said her husband had assaulted her. But they said she changed her story several times before finally admitting she’d sent the men on her husband.