Man originally accused of trying to set wife on fire sentenced

Spear sentenced to 8 months
Man originally accused of trying to set wife on fire sentenced

A man originally charged with trying to set his wife on fire last year was sentenced Friday in Dane County Court.

Charges of attempted homicide and false imprisonment were dropped against Andrew Spear, 60, of Madison, as part of a plea deal. Spear pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct and battery.

He was sentenced to 248 days in jail with some credit for time served.

“I’m sorry about everything that happened that afternoon, but most importantly, I regret any and all of the fear that I subjected the woman I love to, and the mother of my daughter,” Spear said in court. “I will regret that for the rest of my life.”

Assistant District Attorney Matthew Moeser said it would have been difficult to prove the intentional homicide and false imprisonment charges.

A criminal complaint said Spear hit his wife, Mary Spear, a state attorney, and drove her to their storage unit in August 2012, where he forced her inside and told her to undress. The wife said Spear then covered her in gasoline and drunkenly threatened to ignite her body, according to the complaint.

Mary Spear was the chief legal counsel for the state Department of Health Services. Throughout previous court proceedings, the defense brought up an alleged affair between Mary Spear and her boss at the state Department of Health Services.

Mary Spear’s boss acknowledged knowing her for 40 years but denied any relationship with her beyond friendship.