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Defense begins in Lincoln County double fatal OWI crash trial

MERRILL, WI (WTAQ) - The defense will start making its case Friday morning in the trial of Ashley Baumann, a Merrill woman accused of killing two friends in a high speed drunk driving crash.  

The prosecution rested its case Thursday in Lincoln County Circuit Court. The state brought in more witnesses to refute the defense theory that the lone survivor of the crash took the wheel at the last minute and caused the crash.  

Crime Lab analyst Jennifer Honkanen said hair embedded in the driver's door had Baumann's DNA. State Patrol accident reconstruction expert Thomas Erdmann refuted a possibility that Baumann's hair could have gotten there by high winds from a nearby medical helicopter.  

Authorities said the 26-year-old Baumann was driving at almost 100 miles an hour when her van rolled into a field in June of 2012, killing passengers Jessica Hartwig and Misty Glisch. The defendant had a blood alcohol level almost twice the legal limit five hours after the crash.  

Crime Lab analyst Molly Ross said it was likely 0.29 at the time of the mishap, which would have been three-and-a-half times the legal limit of 0.08. 

(Story courtesy of Wheeler News Service)