MADISON (WKOW) -- A Madison man has been charged with attempted homicide and other crimes after allegedly dousing his wife, the chief legal counsel for the state Department of Health Services, with gasoline and setting her on fire.
Court documents state Mary E. Spear was briefly burned, but was able to put the fire out, after it was set by her husband, 59-year-old Andrew Spear.
Spear made his initial appearance on seven charges in Dane County Court on Tuesday. A court commissioner set his bail at $507,000.
The commissioner also set bail conditions that Spear have no contact with his wife, or with state Department of Health Services Secretary Dennis Smith.
Mary Spear left a private sector position in Texas after being recruited to work for the state by Smith.
According to court documents, Andrew Spear suspected his wife of having an affair with Smith, based on her emails.
Documents show Mary Spear denied any affair with Smith, but later told her husband "...she loved him and she was sorry that she had lied to him."
Authorities allege Andrew Spear picked up his wife at her state office building on West Wilson Street August 16, hit her several times as they drove in his car, and demanded contact information for Smith. Court documents show Spear drove to a storage unit on Madison's east side and used gasoline in the unit to try to burn her. An affidavit for a search warrant carried out by Madison police officers at the storage space shows gasoline and other items were seized.
Smith has made no comment on receiving court protection from Andrew Spear, or on the alleged violence against his subordinate. Court documents show Smith offered to help Mary Spear, when she told him of marital problems and long work hours were impacting her personal life. Documents show Spear offered to submit her resignation if Smith felt uncomfortable with her continued employment.
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