Wisconsin lawmaker attacked, jury acquits woman

A jury on Tuesday, Oct. 19 acquitted a woman accused of sparking an attack on a Wisconsin state senator who was filming a Black Lives Matter protest outside the Capitol last year.

Kerida O’Reilly, 34, of Madison, was found not guilty of felony substantial battery and misdemeanor disorderly conduct. She was accused of rushing toward Democratic Sen. Tim Carpenter in a move that prompted other people to start hitting and kicking him.

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The confrontation left Carpenter with a broken nose and concussion along with numerous bruises and cuts, a doctor confirmed on the stand. He said the assault has had lingering effects and continues to give him "a lot of anxiety and depression."

Cell phone footage taken moments before attack on State Sen. Tim Carpenter

Carpenter testified he does not believe O’Reilly struck him after others converged on him, but said she knocked him off-balance. O'Reilly and a co-defendant, Samantha Hamer, contended they were merely trying to get Carpenter to stop filming the protests.

One of the protesters testified that he saw three young men beating Carpenter.

Carpenter sat down with FOX6 News shortly after the attack.

Persons of interest in attack on State Sen. Tim Carpenter (Courtesy: Madison Police Department)

"I had a sore jaw," said Carpenter. "I had a cut over the eye, my ear. My neck was sore.  I was kicked in the side."

Hamer entered a no-contest plea in September to a disorderly conduct civil law violation, which is not a criminal charge.

"It doesn’t pay anything for me to be angry," Carpenter said. "It’s something that happened in the past."

Shortly after the attack, Carpenter called for peace.

"I sure would like to work out that we don’t have any more violence in Madison or Milwaukee," said Carpenter.

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