MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO)— A 28-year-old Cold Spring man is accused of abusing his wife for over 10 years, including nearly shooting her while she breastfed their baby last summer, according to charges filed in Stearns County.
Nicholas George Lehmeier faces one felony count of second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon – a firearm – in connection to the July 2015 incident.
According to the complaint, on Monday, Feb. 8, a woman spoke to a deputy at the sheriff’s office and reported that Lehmeier had been subjecting her to physical and verbal abuse for over 10 years.
She said in July, Lehmeier took a 12-gauge shotgun, loaded it and pointed it at her as she was breastfeeding their 4-month-old baby. She said she remembered him cocking the gun and pulling the trigger about 3 to 4 feet from her, but it didn’t go off.
He was allegedly upset that she was spending more time with the child than him.
According to the complaint, the incident happened the first night they were able to bring the child home since their five children were removed from the home due to a prior incident. In that prior incident, Lehmeier was charged and convicted with assaulting their 7-year-old child.
The complaint continues that after the shotgun incident, he went and grabbed a handgun, along with one round, saying “one bullet is all I need to end this.”
The victim thought he was going to shoot her, but he then allegedly went downstairs and shot the gun out of a window because he didn’t want to shoot her.
The victim said she didn’t tell authorities because she was too afraid, and that he always threatened to kill her or the children. She said he also controlled all their finances, controlled who she was friends with and never allowed her to have anything private in her life.
The victim also accused Lehmeier of raping her and that he said because they were married she had to have sex with him.
If convicted, Lehmeier faces up to seven years in prison and/or a $14,000 fine.