Sauk County Courthouse stock 3 wiscnews web only

A Reedsburg man was sentenced to a year in jail Tuesday for threatening to shoot police officers if they moved forward with a city-approved plan to control local deer populations.

Mark D. Benseman, 54, of Reedsburg, pleaded no contest Tuesday in Sauk County Circuit Court to a single felony charge of making terror threats.

Benseman apologized to the court and local law enforcement for his actions.

He was accused in September of threatening to shoot any law enforcement officers if he saw them hunting deer as part of a deer management plan approved by the city of Reedsburg.

“That’s not how you go about getting policies changed,” Judge Michael Screnock told Benseman on Tuesday during a plea and sentencing hearing.

Defense attorney Leonie Dolch said Benseman understands he does not make good decisions when drinking and is taking steps to limit his access to alcohol and has made counseling a priority.

Dolch added Benseman is well-known to the Reedsburg Police Department for prior criminal cases and that it speaks highly to his character that he’s stayed out of further legal trouble in the last several months.

Screnock found Benseman guilty and sentenced him to pay $518 in fines and serve one year in jail with work-release privileges beginning Aug. 23. Benseman was granted three days of jail credit.

“I trust you will take seriously the counsel you’re undergoing,” Screnock told Benseman.

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