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Park Rapids woman who shot ex-boyfriend claims it was self defense

Stephanie Wehmas

PARK RAPIDS - When Stephanie Wehmas fired several rounds from a semi-automatic rifle into a Clover Township cabin last summer, striking her ex-boyfriend and another man, she was shooting in self-defense.

That was the assertion of her court-appointed attorney Friday morning at an omnibus hearing in Hubbard County District Court.

Wehmas, 21, Park Rapids, faces two counts of attempted first-degree murder in the shootings.

Her ex-boyfriend, Cody Paulson, was wounded in his inner thigh with a gunshot wound. Testimony indicated the two had a contentious relationship and that Paulson was the father of Wehmas' children.

Paulson's friend, Jason Walker, received a gunshot wound to the hand in the incident June 16, 2008, at 1 a.m.

Public defender Michael Undem argued that the search warrant should be dismissed because it lacked probable cause, and that count five in the array of charges against his client should be dismissed for the same reasons.

Wehmas fled the cabin after the shootings. She was spotted nearly an hour later on property owned by her grandparents near Osage.

Hubbard County Sheriffs Department investigator Jerry Tatro testified Wehmas' car got stuck in mud on the property. She fired a rifle at pursuing officers, blasting out the rear window of her own car, as officers moved in to arrest her.

A standoff lasting several hours took place before Wehmas was taken into custody without further incident, Tatro indicated.