Wisconsin man pleads guilty to stabbing his mother in the neck

A Chetek, Wisconsin man pleaded guilty to stabbing his mother in the neck after arguing about money on Tuesday in Barron County Court.

31-year-old Michael Andrew Townsend pleaded guilty to an amended charge of first-degree recklessly endangering safety — domestic.

He is scheduled to be sentenced April 16.

Townsend was initially charged with first-degree attempted homicide in June 2023, according to court records.

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The Barron County Sheriff’s Department said Townsend’s mother called 911 at around 8:45 a.m. on June 5 and said her son had stabbed her in the back of the neck at her home in Prairie Lake Township.

Court documents state a deputy learned that Townsend’s mother had gotten a ride from a neighbor to a safe place. When the deputy arrived there, the woman had a large amount of blood coming from the back of her neck and the deputy took over applying pressure to the wound until medics arrived. She was then flown to a hospital.

Authorities then went back to the home, which Townsend was still inside, and arrested him without incident. A knife was also found inside.

A criminal complaint states that Townsend admitted he’d stabbed his mother with a folding knife after he asked her for money and she only offered to give him $20.

At the hospital, his mother told detectives that she was sitting on the couch after getting home from work that morning and Townsend asked her for money. When she replied that she only had $20, she said Townsend started yelling at her and saying demeaning things, then rushed toward her as she walked to her bedroom.

The woman said she initially thought Townsend was going to punch her and she didn’t know he had a knife. However, Townsend then stabbed her in the back of her neck area and told her, “I’m sick of you,” the complaint states.

Townsend’s mother told detectives she pleaded for her life and thought Townsend was going to stab her again. She was able to run outside, then quickly went back inside to grab clothing to put on her wound and flagged down her neighbor outside.

The woman added that she fully believes Townsend intended to kill her and she feels lucky to be alive, according to court documents. She underwent surgery at the hospital and is now recovering.