Posted on

Charges filed against Medford woman for stabbing

A Taylor County woman faces up to three and half years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines for a Nov. 24 stabbing incident in the city of Medford.

On December 2, Taylor County District Attorney Kristi Tlusty filed substantial battery charges against 20-year-old Makayla Hester for allegedly stabbing Arthur A. Montini, 57, during an altercation at a Medford residence. The class I felony covers acts done with intent to cause bodily harm to that person.

In addition to the substantial battery charge, Hester faces two felony and two misdemeanor bail jumping charges for violating the terms of her bond on previous cases involving disorderly conduct, resisting or obstructing an officer, child abuse, and criminal damage to property. Each of the felony bail jumping charges carries a penalty of up to six years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines. Each misdemeanor bail jumping charge carries a penalty of up to nine months in jail and up to $10,000 in fines. Combined for all charges Hester faces up to 17 years in prison and up to $50,000 in fines.

According to the criminal complaint, Medford police officer Craig Amundson responded at 3:45 p.m. on Nov. 24 to a fight occurring at 556 N Eighth St. in the city of Medford. While en route, dispatch informed him someone had been stabbed.

“Upon arriving I saw several people standing around a male lying supine on the ground outside the residence. When I exited my squad and approached the male I saw that he was bleeding from either the face or neck. Bystanders were providing first aid. The male was later identified as Arthur Montini. Arthur told me that the person who stabbed him was Makayla Hester and that she was still inside the residence with her mother Patches Weissmiller, “ Amundson stated in his report.

While ambulance personnel were treating Montini, Amundson along with sheriff’s department deputies took position around the apartment and ordered Hester to come out. According to the report, Hester peacefully exited the building and was arrested. “Makayla made voluntary statements while being arrested that she stabbed Arthur in self-defense,” Amundson stated.

Law enforcement personnel performed a security sweep of the residence to ensure there was no one else inside and Amundson stated he saw a steak knife lying on the floor in the kitchen in plain view and blood in the kitchen and hallway leading towards the door.

According to the complaint, Weissmiller and Hester had been arguing before Montini came home from work. Weissmiller told officers that she had wanted Hester to buy her marijuana because she wanted it for medical purposes and Hester had refused. During the argument Montini arrived at the residence and the argument continued. Weissmiller told Makayla to leave and she refused. Montini tried forcing her to leave and a physical altercation ensued.

“[Weissmiller] could not remember the order of events involved in the incident but stated that [Hester] stabbed [Montini] and that [Montini] had hit or tried to hit [Hester] with a chair. When I questioned [Weissmiller] about the order of events she said she couldn’t remember and refused to talk about it anymore,” Amundson stated in his report.

Weissmiller told police that Montini sometimes stays at her apartment and that Hester had recently started staying with her after she moved out of boyfriend’s place. Amundson questioned Montini at Aspirus Medford Hospital and he reported that he had come home to Hester and Weissmiller arguing which progressed into them “wrestling” when he decided to intervene. According to the report, Montini grabbed onto Hester’s arm and tried to escort her out of the apartment. Hester got free of his grasp and ran across the kitchen to a knife block and ran toward Montini.

Montini ran around the kitchen table trying to keep it between him and Hester. When Hester wouldn’t stop, he picked up a chair to defend himself. Hester was swinging the knife at him in overhead stabbing motions. Montini said he was going to strike Hester with the chair when Weissmiller grabbed onto him which caused him to lose his balance. Hester then stabbed Montini in the left side of his face in front of his ear. At that point, Montini went outside and told Weissmiller to call an ambulance.

Later that evening, Amundson questioned Hester at the Taylor County Jail. According to Hester, the argument had been about Weissmiller wanting Hester to buy her marijuana or methamphetamine. Hester refused to do that and Weissmiller told her to leave but Hester would not because she didn’t have anywhere else to go. She said that Weissmiller had left to go shopping and returned about 2:30 p.m. and they continued arguing and were still arguing when Montini arrived home from work. Hester started arguing with Montini also and during the argument threw a bag of popcorn across the room at him. Montini came after Hester and Weissmiller and stepped inbetween them. According to Hester he grabbed her left, upper arm and pushed her against a wall. She also stated that Montini grabbed her on the neck with one hand hard enough to make it difficult for her to breathe. Hester told officers she broke away from Montini who she said picked up a wooden chair and threw it at her with the leg of the chair striking her above the left eye. Hester told officers she then ran over to the knife block and retrieved a steak knife. Hester told officers that Montini stopped his aggressive behavior. According to the report, Hester walked over to Arthur and stabbed him with the steak knife. Hester stated that the stabbing was done “In the heat of the moment.” Hester told officers she “was scared and mad and all the other emotions you can imagine.”

According to Amundson’s report, Hester had a contusion with swelling above her left eye, bruising on her left upper arm, bruising and a contusion on the back side of her left forearm, and some small red marks near her right clavicle.

Judge Ann Knox-Bauer ordered a $5,000 cash bond. An initial appearance is scheduled for January 5, 2021 at 1 p.m.