BEAVER DAM, Wis. – Ulisses Medina Espinosa arrived unexpectedly at his parents’ home around 2:30 p.m. Saturday afternoon, shot his ex-wife 15 times in the head and back, then kneeled beside his 5-year-old daughter and told her “the judge won’t hurt us any more.”
Court documents announcing charges of first-degree murder and domestic abuse in the killing of Stacia F. Hollinshead of Sycamore describe a brutal, planned attack by Medina Espinosa, 31, of Beaver Dam. Hollinshead, 30, a DeKalb County assistant state’s attorney, an 11-year Army veteran and a Northern Illinois University law school graduate, had driven to Wisconsin that day with her 5-year-old daughter so that the girl could visit her grandparents – Medina Espinosa’s parents.
If convicted of first-degree intentional homicide, Medina Espinosa could face life in prison. He has an initial court appearance in Dodge County Circuit Court scheduled for Tuesday.
“Upon entry, I saw [Medina Espinosa’s mother, Maria Espinosa Rubio] crying and waving her hands in the air,” a Beaver Dam police officer wrote in a report. “She then looked at me and replied in Spanish ‘He killed her!’ I said, ‘Who did?’ and she pointed to [Medina Espinosa] kneeling down on the living room next to a little girl.”
Reports from investigators describe a scene of horror. Witnesses said Medina Espinosa entered the house through the front door with presents for his daughter, then walked into the kitchen where Hollinshead was before shooting her with a 9mm Luger handgun. Reports show he emptied the weapon’s magazine, discarded the weapon in the sink and then returned to his daughter.
Hollinshead’s body was found in a back bedroom off the kitchen in a pool of blood, the report states. The Dodge County Medical Examiner’s office found she had been shot 15 times in the side of the head, in the back, and in her lower body.
Medina Espinosa’s mother, Maria Espinosa Rubio, was present at the time of the shooting; his father, Ramon, was asleep upstairs, according to the reports from Beaver Dam Police investigators. Espinosa Rubio called police, who arrived shortly after to find Medina Espinosa still kneeling beside his daughter. He offered no resistance as they arrested him, police said.
“He was very calm and quiet,” an arresting officer wrote. “He cooperated with officers, but did not say anything.”
Officers raised Medina Espinosa to his feet away from his daughter and he responded “I want to speak with my lawyer.”
Child talks to investigators
Police describe interviews with the 5-year-old girl, in which she said that she did not hear her father shoot her mother, but heard the boom-boom-boom sound of gunfire. She told investigators her mom didn’t die but “I don’t know what happened to her.”
Medina Espinosa had a history of harassing Hollinshead, according to DeKalb County Court records, and her friends and family. Court records show she filed for orders of protection against him, alleging he would stalk her and sought to control her. His behavior had resulted in loss of his parental visitation rights.
“My mommy and daddy aren’t supposed to see each other,” police reports quote the child as telling investigators. “They can only text and call each other but if they actually see each other—no, no. They don’t like each other anymore; they broke up.”
When asked how the girl knew it was her father who had shot her mother, the girl replied, “Grandma wouldn’t shoot my mom, but daddy might,” the report shows.
“I was going to tell daddy not [to] shoot mommy because if then mommy is hurt she won’t be able to drive me home,” the report says the child told investigators.
After the shooting ended, the girl said her father returned to her in the living room and told her to open the presents he had brought her. Just before police took him away, the girl kissed him a final time and cried, the report shows.
Shooter brought his will
Medina Espinosa may have also planned to kill himself that day, but didn’t go through with it.
He brought two sealed envelopes with him to the crime scene, according to police. One was addressed to his father, Ramon Medina, and one to his lawyer. The letters inside bore the title “Will & Testament,” police reports show.
Police reports show that the letter was written with the apparent assumption that Hollinshead would no longer be around, and deigned that custody of the girl be shared among her maternal and paternal grandparents. It talked about how his assets should be distributed. It also talked about debts he had incurred since his divorce from Hollinshead, which was finalized in DeKalb County in 2018.
Reports say the shooter’s mother told investigators her son, who graduated from Beaver Dam High School in 1997, had never been violent in his life. The parents also reported they were aware of their son’s troubled divorce, and that he was was having a hard time with it.
“This is not my son,” Espinosa Rubio told police. She added she had no knowledge that Espinosa Medina had any weapons or guns, and that he was not an aggressive man.
Hollinshead’s sisters told police a different story, though.
According to the report, the women told investigators their sister’s ex-husband had a long history of stalking, manipulating, and harassing her.
One sister also said that Hollinshead would never have agreed to come to Beaver Dam if she knew her ex-husband was going to be there,
Hollinshead’s boyfriend, Andrew Morris, also told police Hollinshead was worried her ex-husband was becoming more upset and “erratic.”
Morris said Hollinshead had mentioned wanting to obtain her license to carry a firearm due to her concern over Espinosa Medina’s behavior.