The Redwood City construction firm owner whose former wife allegedly attacked him while wrapped in bubble wrap claims she planned to torch the office to destroy business records and hide evidence of her Taser and knife assault.
In a civil suit filed this week, Randy Wenke claims the Sept. 15, 2011 attack by former wife, Laura, has cost him financially because of both his physical injuries and that no one wants to hire him due to her actions. Randy Wenke said he is also left the sole caretaker of the couple’s son because of her incarceration.
Wenke and Wenke Construction, Inc., are suing Laura Jean Wenke, 52, for battery, assault and emotional distress. They alleged negligence, fraud and breach of fiduciary trust. The suit also goes after an unnamed list of medical professionals treating her who Wenke said knew she was mentally ill and dangerous.
Wenke’s defense attorney Geoff Carr said the medical claims actually bolster his client’s defense of not guilty by reason of insanity to attempted murder.
“He apparently now admits that he knew she was mentally ill as did the shrinks,” Carr said. “In a strange way, we’re now allied against the same people.”
Wenke begins jury trial in November and Carr said while he is not representing her in this civil matter the claims made within are admissions that can be used in court.
At the time of the alleged attack, Wenke was vice president and chief financial officer in charge of all record and book-keeping at the company, according to the suit. She was also in the midst of a divorce from Randy Wenke, living separately but continuing to work for Wenke Construction.
On the night in question, Laura Wenke allegedly arranged a fictitious meeting between him and a potential client at the office. While he waited, Laura Wenke allegedly arrived around 7 p.m. claiming she needed to show him a new program on the computer server. She was dressed in a mechanics jumpsuit over bubblewrap that prosecutors later said was meant to protect her from injury during the attack.
The two went into an adjacent office and she stood behind him under the guise of not seeing him enter the server password. As he typed, Laura Wenke stunned him with a stun gun, stabbed him in the torso and sliced his neck from left to right ear. As Randy Wenke grabbed her and tried to get the stun gun, she reportedly stabbed him in the chest.
He called 911 and was treated for serious injuries including a punctured lung and slashed neck.
The suit claims Wenke had also removed business records from a storage facility to the office with plans at the time of the assault to destroy them and evidence of the attack by torching the business.
At the time of arrest, Wenke possessed linseed oil, two five-gallon buckets and shop rags.
Carr said the claims of potential arson and record destruction is news to him but theorized that the suit is a way to recoup money lost in the couple’s divorce which was finalized days prior to its filing.
Randy Wenke’s attorney Janet Brayer was out of the office but told the Daily Journal via email she filed the civil complaint to avoid any statute of limitation issues. The attack hits its two-year anniversary on Sunday.
During a preliminary hearing in the criminal case, a police officer said a “to-do” list of activities related to the crime was found inside Wenke’s purse.
Prosecutors also contend that, aside from a contentious custody battle with her husband, Wenke stood to benefit from $2 million in life insurance if he died and was quite jealous of his new girlfriend.
Carr has dismissed both claims as untrue and the civil suit makes no mention.
Wenke actually began a jury trial in May but, just days into jury selection, Judge Stephen Hall declared a mistrial after Carr indicated his client’s intent to claim insanity based on a defense-hired psychiatrist’s late conclusion that she was mentally compromised at the time.
Wenke remains in custody without bail.
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