By Liz Shepherd
WARSAW — A Nappanee woman accused of killing one man and attacking two others is seeking a jury trial.
Vickie Louise Wooldridge, 45, 19 M Dee Acres, Nappanee, is charged with murder, a felony; attempted murder, a level 1 felony; aggravated battery and attempted criminal confinement, both level 3 felonies; and battery while armed with a deadly weapon, a level 5 felony.
During a pretrial conference on Monday, Oct. 25, legal counsel determined the case would go to trial. Wooldridge’s trial is set to begin at 8:30 a.m. Feb. 8, 2022, for an anticipated four-day period.
A final pretrial conference is scheduled for 1 p.m. Jan. 21, 2022.
In Indiana, a felony murder charge carries a 45 to 65-year prison sentence.
On Dec. 15, 2020, Kosciusko County Sheriff’s deputies went to a residence on Westside Drive in Warsaw regarding a stabbing report. A woman said Wooldridge had stabbed her husband and son. She gave officers a description of Wooldridge.
According to court documents, officers found the woman’s husband seriously injured in a living room. He had suffered at least one stab wound to the chest. Officers also found Matthew A. Lucas, 42, Warsaw, in a bedroom. Lucas had multiple stab wounds to his neck, face and chest and was pronounced dead at the scene by the Kosciusko County Coroner’s Office.
The woman’s husband was airlifted from the scene to Lutheran Hospital in Fort Wayne for medical treatment.
Officers spoke with the woman, who said she heard yelling in her residence. The woman’s husband told her he was yelling downstairs to Wooldridge and Lucas, who were arguing. A short time later, the woman heard more screaming and entered the living room and saw Wooldridge attacking her husband. The woman attempted to pull Wooldridge off of her husband when Wooldridge started attacking her and hit her face.
As the woman attempted to flee, Wooldridge tried multiple times to pull the woman back into the residence to stop her from leaving. Court documents state the woman required medical attention due to facial injuries, cuts to her hands and a loss of teeth from the attack.
An officer spoke with the woman’s husband, who said he heard yelling coming from the downstairs area where Wooldridge and Lucas were at. He asked the two if everything was all right. Wooldridge said everything was fine.
The husband said a short time later, Wooldridge emerged from the basement, came up behind him and stabbed him in the chest while he was sitting in a chair. The husband yelled for his wife, who attempted to intervene. After his wife was safely out of the residence, the husband retrieved Wooldridge’s weapon. Wooldridge then fled on foot.
Officers spent several hours searching the area for Wooldridge. A passerby reported seeing Wooldridge hiding in a dumpster several miles from the residence. The passerby asked Wooldridge what was happening, at which time she got out of the dumpster and was taken into custody by law enforcement.
Wooldridge is currently incarcerated at the Kosciusko County Jail.