The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

January 22, 2013

Woman recounts ex-husband’s ambush

By Jeff Lehr

NEOSHO, Mo. — Lisa Christian recounted Tuesday in court how her ex-husband was waiting in hiding Dec. 13 in the garage of her home in Loma Linda and hit her in the head with a baseball bat as she got out of her vehicle.

“I saw stars, but I didn’t lose consciousness,” she testified at a preliminary hearing in Newton County Circuit Court.

She said Anthony L. Bruenn, 41, of rural Carthage, began binding her hands and feet with duct tape after striking her with the bat.

“I wouldn’t stay quiet,” Christian said. “So he stuck a rag in my mouth and duct-taped that as well.”

She said he later took the gag off to hear her answers to the questions he was asking her about her involvement with another man.

“That’s when he started slapping me,” she said. “I guess he didn’t like my answers.”

She said Bruenn kept banging the back of her head on the floor of the garage, inflicting knots and a concussion. Eventually, he took her inside her place and held her there until 12:30 p.m. the next day, a total of 16 hours.

Christian’s testimony resulted in Associate Judge Gregory Stremel finding probable cause for Bruenn to stand trial on charges first-degree assault, armed criminal action and felonious restraint. The judge set his initial appearance in a trial division of the court for Feb. 1.

Christian testified that she was in a relationship with Bruenn for more than three years and was married to him for nine months before obtaining a divorce. Under cross-examination by Bruenn’s public defender, she acknowledged that she had filed charges against him previously. But she denied ever having recanted any statements she made against him.

She told the court that Bruenn let her go when she convinced him that she needed medical help. He took her to where he had parked his car near her home and let her go alone the remainder of the way to the hospital, she said.

Still in jail

ANTHONY BRUENN has remained in custody on $100,000 bond since his arrest in December.