Sampsel, 40, allegedly drunk at time of incident

By Jason Arndt

Justin Sampsel

Justin Sampsel, 40, of Salem Lakes was charged with first degree attempted intentional homicide after he allegedly forced his wife to drive into a tree while she was driving on a Racine County road on Feb. 9.

Sampsel, who made his initial appearance on Feb. 11, was ordered held on a $40,000 bail by Racine County Court Commissioner Alice Rudebusch.

As a condition of his bond, he cannot have any contact with his wife, their residence, any family member, refrain from consuming alcohol and drugs and driving, court records show.

According to the complaint, the crash happened after Sampsel and his wife left a relative’s home in Racine County, where he allegedly consumed too many alcoholic drinks with dinner.

The complaint contends Justin, who started becoming belligerent, consumed wine, two glasses of whisky along with three beers.

“The wife decided it was time for them to leave,” the complaint states. “In the car, he began to call her ‘fat and crazy.'”

Meanwhile, when the stopped at a controlled intersection, she told authorities Sampsel left the car, but was eventually convinced to re-enter the vehicle.

Sampsel, in the passenger seat, then grabbed the gear shifter and began rapidly shifting gears and told her “they were going to crash and hoped they both died,” the complaint states.

Sampsel, who grabbed the steering wheel, forced the car off the road and crashed into a tree near highways J and A in the Village of Rochester.

After the crash, Sampsel’s wife called 911, and in turn, responding deputies arrived to the crash and discovered a Honda Pilot that had crashed into a tree with major front end damage and its airbags deployed.

While deputies found Sampsel, who did not have any injuries from the crash, standing near the car, they discovered his wife near the road with a bloody nose.

The Racine County Sheriff’s Office said his wife was transported to the Aurora Medical Center in Burlington for treatment of non-life threatening injuries.

She told investigators that while they were outside the car, she overheard him speaking on the phone with his boss, stating his “soon to be ex-wife is blaming everything on him.”

Sampsel will next appear at a Feb. 21 preliminary hearing before Rudebusch.


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