Chilling words from area murder victim - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Chilling words from area murder victim

Rusk County (WQOW) - The woman who was shot to death in Rusk County December 30 had feared for her life at one point and sought protection from her husband.

Darlene Lazar died Sunday evening at her home in rural Hawkins and her husband is in jail for allegedly shooting her.

Court records show that Darlene had told a judge in the past that she feared her husband. It was in 2004 that Donald Lazar was charged with battery to his wife. She then asked a judge for a temporary restraining order  to keep him away from her. 

In that petition to the judge, Darlene said that he had shoved her across pavement, causing bruises to her shoulder, arm and knee. At that point she had been married to him for 38 years, and she wrote:

"I am fearful of him.  I have endured verbal and physical abuse my entire life. I feel I need this for my protection."

But just one week later she petitioned the judge to dismiss her request.

Court records document what allegedly happened the night Darlene was shot.

According to court records, Donald told investigators they had been arguing over payment of their property taxes and that he grabbed her by the throat and pushed her. Detectives say he told them she went to the phone to call the sheriff's department, so he grabbed a .22 rifle, told her to put down the phone, and fired.

She was hit in the side. Investigators say he told them he did not intend to shoot her and only wanted to scare her. But they say he told them because he was already in trouble for shooting her he figured he might as well shoot her again.

He then allegedly shot her in the temple, laid down the gun and called 911, telling a dispatcher he had just shot his wife in the head.

Donald was also charged in a separate case of domestic abuse back in October. In that case he allegedly hit his wife in the shoulder during an argument while she was driving him to a doctor's appointment. She told investigators she stopped the car and walked home.

Donald is still in jail under a $500,000 cash bond.  

Court officials say criminal charges could be filed Thursday. Funeral services for Darlene are set for Saturday.

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