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Bailey sentenced to 16 years of prison time for entering a house and attempting to kill sleeping teenage girl



Austin Bailey mug shot

A 19-year-old man from Onalaska is ordered to serve 16 years behind bars, followed by four years of supervision, for trying to kill a 15-year-old girl he had referred to as “the love of my life.'”

Austin Bailey was sentenced for the 2022 attack, in which the victim fought him off and received a severe stab wound to her hand — nearly losing her pinky finger.

Police said Bailey crawled through the girl’s bedroom window and tried to strangle and stab the victim, but ran when she fought back.

Bailey said during sentencing that he’ll spend the rest of his life trying to earn forgiveness.

“I really wish I could take back what I’ve done,” he said, “and go back in time knowing what I know now.”

Austin Bailey (seated left) and his attorney face La Crosse County Judge Ramona Gonzalez at sentencing on March 11, 2024 (PHOTO: Brad Williams)

Bailey’s mother told the court that her son was bullied in school, and went to jail as a minor, but he would like to be a better man. Judge Gonzalez said Bailey is lucky that the victim fought back, because he would get life in prison if the girl had died.

Bailey was sentenced Monday in La Crosse County Circuit Court by Judge Ramona Gonzalez, after being convicted of attempted murder. Gonzalez spoke about looking for “red flags,” of mental illness.

“It is so easy for us to turn our back and think we have put the band-aid on, and then we can walk away,” Gonzalez said during sentencing. “But folks who are suffering from mental health issues, as much as they assure you that they’re fine, are not fine.”

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Kent Porter

    March 12, 2024 at 9:09 am

    If it was person of color Gonzales would of let him go with a $500 bond

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