Jury finds Fuhrman guilty of Attempted 1st Degree Homicide in Oshkosh West attack
Sentencing date set
WINNEBAGO COUNTY, Wis. (WBAY) - A jury found a man guilty of 1st Degree Attempted Homicide Friday for the 2019 attack on a Oshkosh West High School resource officer.
The jury returned the verdict for Grant Fuhrman just hours after receiving the case. They found him guilty of trying to kill now-retired Officer Mike Wissink in his office at the school.
Fuhrman’s family were visible upset by the verdict. Tina Kintoph, Fuhrman’s mother, sobbed in the court.
“My baby, my baby,” she said. “Can’t I please just hug my son?”
The judge set the sentencing for May 1 at 8:30 a.m. Fuhrman faces a maximum sentence of life in prison for the Class A Felony.
“We are not done yet,” said Fuhrman’s attorney, Corey Mehlos. “We believe in this kid. He was 16 at the time. There’s a lot more to the story.”
The jury was allowed to consider a lesser charge when they deliberated the case of the man charged in a 2019 attack at Oshkosh West High School. Deliberations began at about 3:30 on Friday afternoon.
Winnebago County Judge Daniel Bissett told jurors in a packed courtroom Friday that if they could not get a unanimous agreement on the Class A Felony of Attempted 1st Degree Intentional Homicide, they would need to consider the Class F Felony of 1st Degree Recklessly Endangering Safety. If they had not been able to convict on either count, they would have had to return a verdict of not guilty.
A Class A Felony carries a maximum sentence of life in prison. A Class F Felony comes with a maximum sentence of 12-and-a-half years in prison.
The judge delivered instructions ahead of closing arguments. Fuhrman’s defense rested Friday without the defendant taking the witness stand. After closings, the case went to the jury.
The prosecution and the defense painted very different pictures of what they believed happened on December 3, 2019.
The prosecution spent 45 minutes - using photos and video - to show the jury why they say Fuhrman wanted to kill officer Mike Wissink.
The video shows Fuhrman walking through the halls a few times - before going into Wissink’s office, closing the door and allegedly stabbing Wissink.
The defense argued that this was not an attempted murder case, but rather a suicide-by-cop case.
Tracy Paider, Assistant District Attorney, Winnebago County, maintained: “Grant on December 3rd was a shark circling his prey, when the right time came, he did try to kill Wissink, and that is why he is guilty of First Degree Intentional Homicide.”
The defense called just one witness.
Last week, the prosecution called Mike Wissink to the stand. Wissink told jurors he was sitting at his desk in his office on Dec. 3, 2019, when Fuhrman walked in and closed the door. The retired officer said Fuhrman asked him to look something up on the computer.
Wissink then described being confused and in pain. He remembered Fuhrman coming at him and stabbing him. The weapon was a large fork.
“As I am sitting in my chair, I start to turn and get up and feeling more pain, like blows raining down on my head or head area,” Wissink stated. “Then I am able to turn and get up and I see Furhman and his hands, are doing a motion like this.”
“I notice a flash and in my mind, I picture a three-prong fork and it’s like I am standing behind myself, watching this,” Wissink said.
Wissink said he fired his gun, striking Fuhrman.
School security video shown at trial shows the moments Fuhrman tried to run out of the office, but the injured officer pulled him back in.
Wissink testified that he went for his taser first.
“I know that morning the day before, another SRO in Wisconsin was involved in a shooting incident at a school and my girlfriend talked about it and I said I hope I make it to the end without being in a shooting, I just want to make it,” Wissink said.
Earlier in the week, jurors heard from Grant Fuhrman’s mother, Tina Kintoph.
She said that Grant wasn’t a typical 16-year-old boy, who had a lot to look forward to. He had just gotten his first job, bought a car from his grandmother, and had a lot of friends. She says that he was a very social person, but she saw him withdraw after the death of his grandfather that November, whom she said Grant had a special relationship.
On the stand, Fuhrman’s mother explained that Grant’s biological father died by suicide and it made him fearful he may lose more loved ones.
She described Grant as being “very clingy” and not wanting her to leave. He also was very scared of fire trucks and ambulances. “He would just shake and get very emotional when he would see things like that.”
Question: “Do you know what that was, that he would be fearful of fire trucks and ambulances?”
Answering she took a long pause, wiped away a tear, then responded, “Probably because he saw my husband being taken out of the house in a body bag, maybe? And he was afraid that they were going to take me away, maybe?”
Fuhrman’s mother was also asked about the medication he was prescribed to help him focus in school. She said he took it on and off since he started grade school and that’s because he experienced adverse side effects.
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