UPDATE: Stanley woman accused in stabbing death may change plea

Dunn County (WQOW) – The attorney for the woman accused of killing her boyfriend has requested more time in case his client decides to change her plea.

Ezra McCandless from Stanley is accused of stabbing Alexander Woodworth 16 times in rural Dunn County in March. McCandless is charged with first degree intentional homicide.

She pleaded not guilty in May.

She did not change her plea Monday, but her attorney told the court they’d like more time to review her options.

Now, the court has set a deadline of October 12 for a decision to be made.

Dunn Co. (WQOW) — 
The Stanley woman, accused of stabbing an Eau Claire man to death, has entered a plea to her charges.

Ezra McCandless entered a ‘not guilty’ plea after telling Judge James Peterson she understood the charges against her. On Tuesday, May 22, after reviewing a doctor’s report, Judge Peterson found McCandless competent.

As News 18 has reported, McCandless is accused of stabbing Alexander Woodworth 16 times in March. Woodworth’s body has yet to be released to his family, and the defense is requesting more time to review autopsy results. McCandless’ attorney, Aaron Nelson, wants another 60 days, claiming the prosecution had that much time to process.

However, Dunn County District Attorney Andrea Nodolf objected, saying the bulk of the information was provided weeks ago, and the defense should only need 30 days because it’s time sensitive.

After discussion with both prosecution and defense, Judge Peterson granted Nelson a status hearing for Monday, July 9. McCandless will return to court then.

Dunn County (WQOW) – The Stanley woman accused of stabbing an Eau Claire man to death will undergo a competency evaluation.

By next week, Ezra McCandless will be evaluated to determine if she can fully understand and participate in her defense.

Judge James Peterson made the decision Wednesday because McCandless’ attorney implied his client might not have totally comprehended a document she was asked to sign after checking into a mental health facility following the attack.

McCandless is accused of stabbing Alexander Woodworth 16 times last month.

Woodworth’s body is still being held as evidence in Minnesota, and Wednesday the prosecution asked the defense to turn it back over to his family. The defense said they couldn’t do that.

“How can I do anything other than object, judge? I don’t know what use that body is for evidence. For me to do anything other than to object would be to commit malpractice,” said defense attorney Aaron Nelson.

McCandless will be back in court for a status hearing next month.

Dunn County (WQOW)
– Formal charges of first degree murder uncover new details in the stabbing death of an Eau Claire man.

Ezra McCandless, from Stanley, is accused of stabbing Alexander Woodworth 16 times. His body was found in a car in a farm field between Eau Claire and Menomonie.

According to the criminal complaint, McCandless said she went to his home to return some items, and they decided to go for a drive to talk.

She claims they fought because he called her a boy, and that he carved the word “boy” into her arm. She later admitted that she put the word on her arm after stabbing Woodworth.

McCandless claims Woodworth attacked her, but she got the knife away from him and stabbed him, saying, “I just started stabbing anything I could, everywhere.”

When McCandless was first taken into custody, doctors said she had wounds to her groin, and thigh, that could have been self-inflicted, and she said she had harmed herself in the past.

McCandless is still in jail. She returns to court April 25.

Posted March 28, 2018
Dunn County (WQOW) –
The Eau Claire man whose body was found in a car in rural Dunn County last Friday, was stabbed to death.

That’s one of many new details News 18 learned Wednesday at a bond hearing held for the woman suspected of killing him.

Ezra McCandless, from Stanley, appeared in court via video conference from the Dunn County Jail on Wednesday. She’s held on possible first degree murder charges for the death of a man officials called “her significant other,” Alexander Woodworth.

“The provisional autopsy report indicates that the deceased victim was stabbed 16 different times,” said Dunn County District Attorney Andrea Nodolf. “The information that we have from the defendant in this case is that she is claiming that the deceased victim attacked her, but then also informed law enforcement after she wanted it to stop she carved the word “boy” into her arm.”

Nodolf requested McCandless be held on a $750,000 cash bond given the severity of the crime, saying she believes McCandless is a threat to others due to concerns about her mental stability.

Defense attorney Aaron Nelson argued against the high bond, calling it ‘ridiculous.’

“She has ties to the community, she has lived here basically her entire life,” Nelson argued. “Her family is there, she has no prior record, no prior arrests. I think the amount that was proposed is, unnecessary.”

Ultimately, the judge set bond at $250,000.

News 18 did some digging, and learned other information. According to a search warrant we obtained, this case started last Thursday night (March 22),  when a man called 911 to report that McCandless, who was distraught, showed up at his house near the crime scene. She was described as cold, barefoot and disheveled, with some blood around her mouth, and asked that he take her to see a doctor.

No charges have officially been filed against McCandless yet, but the DA anticipates a charge that carries mandatory life in prison.

Related: Suspect, victim identified in Dunn County murder

The Dunn County Sheriff’s Office is looking for anyone that may have information about this case.

If you live near, or were traveling on, CTH E between Hwy 12 on Thursday, March 22nd between 1:00 pm and 4:30 pm and saw something out of the ordinary such as a vehicle, people walking or biking that you  don’t normally see in the area, you should call police.

There may also be people that know the victim and/or suspect in this case that may have information that has not been relayed to law enforcement yet. Anyone having information they feel may be relevant to this homicide investigation is encouraged to call the Dunn County Sheriff’s Office at 715-232-1348 to speak with Sgt. Todd Kurtzhals or Investigator Rod Dicus. Information may also be relayed to the Sheriff’s Office through Dunn County Crime Stoppers at dunncocrimestoppers.com.

WQOW Staff

WQOW Staff

More News

Eau Claire
Rice Lake
New Richmond
Black River Falls
River Falls
Green Bay
La Crosse
Twin Cities
Connect with WQOW
Top Stories
Scroll to top
Skip to content