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Local

County prosecutor shot to death in Wisconsin

Stacia Hollinshead's death shocks coworkers; was attacked in Beaver Dam home

SYCAMORE – A mother of one who was shot to death by her ex-husband in an incident of domestic violence Saturday was also a prosecutor with the DeKalb County State’s Attorney’s office.

Stacia F. Hollinshead, 30, of the 1800 block of Raintree Court, Sycamore, was fatally wounded in a home in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin, around 2:40 p.m. Saturday, Beaver Dam Police said on their Facebook page. According to the Beaver Dam Daily Citizen newspaper, police have identified the suspect as Ulisses W. Medina Espinosa of Beaver Dam.

The two had been married, but were divorced in DeKalb County, with the separation finalized in 2018, according to online court records. Records also show that Hollinshead had been granted an emergency order of protection against Medina Espinosa in 2016.

Hollinshead's death shocked State's Attorney Rick Amato and the other 11 prosecutors in his office.

"As prosecutors, we intervene in domestic violence cases in court to prevent the nightmare outcome that we’re all now living through," Amato said in a written statement. "Stacia’s tragic death drives home many points that we make constantly: Domestic violence is about power and control, it is learned behavior, it is present in all communities, it crosses all social and economic barriers, and it is preventable.

"No faction of society is immune from it, not even those who work in the public safety arena, fiercely dedicated to stopping it."

Hollinshead was a graduate of Northern Illinois University law school, and served 11 years as a U.S. Army intelligence analyst, Amato said. She joined Amato's office as an assistant state's attorney in November after being sworn in as a new lawyer in October, and had previously been an intern at CASA Kane County, he said. She graduated from Dieterich High School, near Effingham, he said.

“We were just getting to know her,” Amato said. “For anybody to be victim of domestic violence, let alone a prosecutor, it’s just horrible.”

Hollinshead has a daughter who attends school in Sycamore, and Amato said Hollinshead seemed happiest when the two were together.

"Stacia shined her brightest when she was around her daughter," Amato wrote. "Because Stacia was such a hard worker, she would often bring her daughter to the office as she completed her work for the day. Her daughter was instantly a favorite among the staff.

"Together they would brighten the office and were a joy to be around."

Beaver Dam is a town of about 17,000 people northwest of Milwaukee. Violence is rare there – the Daily Citizen reported it was the first homicide “of this kind” to occur in 28 years.

Charges have not yet been announced against Espinoza. Amato said the charges could be filed Tuesday by Wisconsin authorities.

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