OCONTO COUNTY FINALLY DOES THEIR JOB!
By Marcie Kobriger
An Oconto County man is sentenced to life behind bars with no chance for parole for murdering his estranged wife then setting their home on fire while three children slept inside.
Randall Staeven, 52, of Pulaski was found guilty in August of first-degree intentional homicide and other felonies for the 2009 murder of his wife Christine after she asked for a divorce.
Staeven sat stone-faced in Oconto County court as the judge handed out the stiff sentence. He did not speak a word, even when the judge asked him directly if he had anything to say.
According to his attorney, Staeven maintains his innocence.
“Because he maintains his innocence, he’s not going to sit here and try to accept responsibility or provide some explanation of what did occur, because that would be contrary to the belief of his innocence,” defense attorney Jeff Jazgar said.
A jury convicted Staeven of six felonies: First-degree intentional homicide, arson, mutilating a corpse, and three counts of recklessly endangering safety.
Prosecutors say when Staeven set fire to the home, three of the couple’s children, ages 11, seven, and three, were sleeping in the home. They escaped with minor burns.
“To put your own three children in harm’s way to cover up what you did to your wife is just evil,” Judge Michael T. Judge said.
“Your conduct, Mr. Staeven, in this entire matter was vicious, heinous, and horrific, and the public needs protection from you forever.”
“The door is shut for Christine Staeven forever,” the judge said, “and for that reason, Mr. Staeven, I close the door for you also.”
Christine’s brother-in-law, Jeff Muehlbauer, broke up as he talked told us, “We’re all relieved that he got what he got, nevertheless, it’s not going to bring Christine… excuse me a minute… It won’t bring back our sister, sister-in-law, but he’s not coming back.”
Emotional family members of the victim say today the three children are well cared for, in loving homes, but that they’ll forever feel the effects of their father’s crime.
“They do miss they’re mom, and we can’t take that place. We try the best we can,” Muehlbauer said.
Staeven’s attorney tells us an appeal has already been filed, and prosecutors say they’re already prepared.
“It’s sometimes a slow process, but he has his right to appeal and we will defend,” special prosecutor Vince Biskupic said.
NOW THEY NEED TO FIND ONE MORE MURDERER IN GILLETT, WI
Im not going to rip on how inept the Oconto County sheriffs dept. OR how stupid Officer Laskowski is…oh who am I fooling? Fuck yeah I am!
Officer Darren Laskowski the SAME bumbling idiot who said he would not interview the child that was alleging sexual abuse because the ex has told him that it was only for REVENGE. Really? But now the tables are turned Laskowski and your continuing bush-leagued, shoddy investigating skills is shining down on you! Thank god the state agents from Division of Criminal Investigation came and helped!
Why are people questioning what took so long? It is NO surprise to me. You now officially have BLOOD on your hands and I am grateful it was not me or my child whom you failed to believe. I prayed for some justice for ALL Mothers and Children in Oconto County…it is coming slowly…but Karma really is a bitch aint it?
Randall Staeven of Pulaski arrested in death of wife Christine Staeven
The estranged husband of a woman found dead in a burning home a year ago has been arrested for her murder, the Oconto County Sheriff’s Department said today.
Authorities said they have arrested Randall Staeven, 50, of Pulaski, and are recommending charges of first-degree intentional homicide, arson, mutilating a corpse and three counts of first-degree reckless endangerment.
The charges relate to the May 14, 2009, death of Christine Staeven, 40, and a fire at her home at 740 Jaworski Road, in the town of Chase.
The sheriff’s department identified the Staevens as being married but going through a divorce at the time of her death.
Randall Staeven was angry that he could lose the family home as a result of the couple’s pending divorce, according to the criminal complaint filed Wednesday.
Randall and Christine’s relationship had a history of domestic abuse and Randall Staeven had been ordered to undergo anger management counseling, the complaint said.
In January 2009, Christine received a restraining order against her husband and had him removed from the Jaworski Road home, the complaint said.
Randall Staeven is scheduled to be in court for an initial appearance at 10 a.m. Friday before Oconto County Circuit Judge Michael Judge.
Investigators suspected murder early on, because an autopsy showed no carbon monoxide in her system, indicating that she had died before the fire.
Christine Staeven’s body — found in one of the home’s bedrooms — was significantly damaged during the fire, which had been set in three different places in the home, according to a criminal complaint filed Wednesday
Three of her children, then aged 11, 7 and 3, escaped the fire. Another child wasn’t home at that time.
Christine Staeven’s 11-year-old daughter told authorities she woke up the night of the fire to the smell of smoke as well as the fire alarm sounding and her brother screaming, the criminal complaint said. She found her two brothers in the house at the time and then helped them get out, it said.
Relatives had set up fundraising efforts to help care for the children.
The sheriff’s department had no comment on what led to the arrest other than to say it was as a result of a joint investigation by the sheriff’s department and agents from the state Division of Criminal Investigation.