Husband of Katie Pierce pleads not guilty in Siskiyou County courtroom

A Montague man charged with the murder of his wife pleaded not guilty in a Siskiyou County courtroom on Friday, Oct. 19. Lukes Steven Ladewig, 30, is being held without bail at the Siskiyou County Jail.

An autopsy conducted on Katie Pierce yesterday at the Shasta County Coroner’s office showed the 30 year old’s injuries were consistent with blunt force injuries to the head, according to a press release from Jayme Lynch, spokesperson from the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Department.

Pierce’s death was ruled a homicide by forensic pathologist Susan Comfort on Wednesday, Oct. 24, Lynch reported.

Ladewig was on probation for a previous domestic violence conviction involving his wife when he was arrested and charged with murder, assault with a deadly weapon other than a firearm, said Siskiyou County District Attorney Kirk Andrus.

Ladewig was arrested on Oct. 18 at Mercy Medical Center Redding where his wife was taken after being discovered on the floor of her bathroom with visible injuries to her body, according the Sheriff’s Department.

Sheriff’s deputies responded to the couple’s Kuck Road residence in Montague the day before on a report of an unresponsive woman at about 8 a.m. Emergency medical responders were able to establish a pulse and Pierce was transported to Fairchild Medical Center, then Mercy Redding for treatment.

Pierce died on the morning of Oct. 18, and Ladewig was arrested soon after when detectives developed probable cause to believe her injuries were caused in a domestic violence incident, the Sheriff’s Department said.

Andrus said in 2001, Ladewig was convicted of corporal injury to a spouse/cohabitant and dissuading a witness from reporting a crime. He also served a prison term in 2002 for domestic violence.

“We would like to again offer our sincere condolences and prayers to the family and friends of Katie Pierce,” said Sheriff Jon Lopey in a statement Thursday morning. “I would like to again remind my fellow citizens that domestic violence continues to be a major concern for all public safety and social service agencies and we all share the responsibility of taking measures to stop this terrible crime, which is most often perpetrated against women and too often, children are present during these episodes of violence.”

Anyone experiencing domestic violence should contact the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office Dispatch Center 24 hours a day at 841-2900.

Lopey said another valuable resource is the Siskiyou County Domestic Violence Crisis Center], which can be contacted 24 hours a day, toll free, at their confidential hotline number 1-877-842-4068.

“The SCDVCC has a trained and caring staff whose sheltering, counseling, and support services are second to none,” Lopey said.

Anyone with information concerning the Ladewig case is asked to contact Detective Morlet at 842-8381, or Detective Sergeant Hilsenberg at 842-8767.