Former Janesville woman stands trial on attempted homicide charge

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Ted Sullivan
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
— In the trial of a former Janesville woman charged with attempted homicide, jurors must decide whether she sliced her husbandís neck to murder him or whether he possibly attempted suicide to frame her.

Prosecutors claim Nickole E. Pergande, 35, of 14124 Lang Road, Orfordville, was confronted by her husband for stealing, threatened with police action and told her marriage was over before she tried to kill him.

The defense attorney claims Pergandeís husband, Jaymie, had lost his job, taken several prescription drugs and threatened suicide hours before he was cut.

In a classic case of he said/she said, the Pergandes are pointing the finger at each other, and jurors will have to decide who is telling the truth. The couple has since divorced.

Nickoleís trial started Monday in Rock County Court, and attorneys on both sides made their opening arguments.

Prosecutor Gwanny Tjoa said Nickole took about $4,000 from her husbandís bank account while he was on a hunting trip. Tjoa said the two were legally separated, and they werenít allowed to transfer any of their assets.

Nickole also stole guns and other items out of her husbandís gun safe, Tjoa said.

Jaymie confronted Nickole, but she initially denied it, he said.

When she later admitted it, Jaymie told her he was going to call police, Tjoa said. He told his wife he wanted a divorce and planned to move out the next day.

The following morning, Jaymie was in the shower when his wife walked into the bathroom and sliced his neck, Tjoa said.

Jaymie called 911, saying his wife cut him, Tjoa said. Jaymie then waited for emergency responders.

Jaymie later told investigators and others that his wife cut him, Tjoa said. He recovered after emergency surgery.

Defense attorney Tod Daniel said thereís no physical evidence to convict Nickole. He said Nickole tried to save Jaymieís life.

During police questioning, Nickole consistently denied having anything to do with Jaymieís injury, Daniel said.

She also agreed to take a lie detectorís test, which was never done, he said.

Jaymie was on three prescription drugs, including Vicodin and OxyContin, Daniel said. He had lost his job and his marriage was nearly over.

Hours earlier, Jaymie had threatened his wife with suicide and claimed he would kill himself in front of the kids, Daniel said.

Nickole remains free on a $10,000 bond. If convicted, she faces a maximum of 60 years in prison.

Her trial is expected to last four days.

Last updated: 12:10 pm Thursday, December 13, 2012

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