Trial Set to Begin for 'Bubble Wrap' Attacker

Clad all in bubble wrap underneath her clothing, the suspect allegedly snuck up on her husband sitting in his Redwood City office, tasered him and then stabbed him.

Laura Jean Wenke   Photo: San Mateo Sheriff's Office booking photo
Laura Jean Wenke Photo: San Mateo Sheriff's Office booking photo

Written by Joan S. Dentler and Jennifer van der Kleut

More than two years after she was accused of tasering and stabbing her estranged husband, Laura Jean Wenke is about to start trial.

Wenke, 52, of Los Altos, was charged in connection with tasering and stabbing her estranged husband in the office of their Laurel Street construction company in Redwood City on Sept. 15, 2011.

This will be the second go-round of a jury trial for Wenke. In May 2013, Judge Stephen Hall declared a mistrial and discharged the jury on the fourth day of the trial after Wenke’s defense attorneys added a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity. 

The attorney, Geoff Carr advised that the defense psychiatrist, Dr. Missett, had just completed and provided to him his report; the defense attorney advised that the defense psychiatrist had concluded that the defendant was not sane at the time of the crime in September 2011. 

Reports indicate Laura and Randall Wenke, who have a son together, were in the middle of a difficult divorce and had been separated for around one year at the time of the attack.

San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said said Laura was upset over the fact that Randall had a new girlfriend, and therefore drove to their Redwood City construction business and parked her car in front of the window that looks into the office. Randall was sitting at the computer.

Indicating intent, the Wagstaffe said Laura drove to the business wearing a mechanic's body suit and had wrapped bubble wrap around her body underneath the suit, presumably to fend off any counter-attack.

Laura reportedly snuck up behind her husband while he was at the computer, pulled out a stun gun and tasered him, and then stabbed him repeatedly in the chest and neck.

It is unclear how the Redwood City Police Department learned about the attack, but reports indicate that when officers arrived at the scene, Laura was still on the premises, and Randall was found still alive, suffering from his injuries. He was transported to the hospital, where he was treated for several days and then released.

It was later learned that the victim had a $2-million life insurance policy, for which Laura Wenke was still listed as the beneficiary.

After being delayed five times since the superior court arraignment on May 10, 2012, Laura Wenke's jury trial is expected to begin on Jan. 15 in San Mateo County Superior Court.

According to Wagstaffe, the case is set for Monday, Jan. 6 at 9:00 in Dept. 24, Judge Stephen Hall, for the start of the jury trial, however, defense will move to continue the jury trial one week to Jan. 13, 2014 due to the defense attorney’s health problem.  

Wenke previously pleaded not guilty to all charges, which include attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon and other offenses.

The San Mateo County District Attorney's Office indicated it is pursuing life in prison for Wenke, who has been in custody without bail since the attack.

The defense attorneys are Geoff Carr and Neva Tassan.



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