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Inside Politics

Senator's wife charged with assault

Baucus: 'I stand by her'

From Joe Johns and Steve Turnham
CNN Washington Bureau

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Max Baucus
Wanda Baucus

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The wife of a U.S. senator was charged with simple assault Wednesday following an incident in which she allegedly struck another woman while loading items into her car at a garden store.

D.C. Police spokesman Joe Gentile said Wanda Baucus -- the wife of Democratic Sen. Max Baucus of Montana -- turned herself in to police at 1 p.m. and then went to D.C. Superior Court for arraignment.

"There was a situation involving Wanda last night," her husband of 20 years said in a written statement. "We're trying to sort it out, going through the proper channels. I stand by her 110 percent. And she has my full support."

An employee at the Johnson's Flower and Garden Center, where the alleged incident took place on Tuesday evening, told CNN that Wanda Baucus and another woman got into an argument while they each were waiting for 35-pound bags of mulch to be loaded into their cars.

The incident caused a commotion in the parking lot of the garden center. One witness said a half dozen police cars responded on the scene.

The maximum penalty for simple assault, a misdemeanor, is 180 days in jail and/or a $1000 fine, according to the U.S. Attorney's office.

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