Alcohol and dangerous game alleged to have caused fatal shooting

By Tracy Ouellette

SLN Staff

A 31-year-old McHenry, Ill., man is charged with two felony homicide counts in the shooting death of David A. Bauspies in East Troy.

Robert M. Sterling appeared in Walworth County Circuit Court Jan. 6 and was charged with first degree reckless homicide, a Class B felony, and homicide by negligent handling of a dangerous weapon, a Class G felony. If convicted of both counts, Sterling could be imprisoned for up to 70 years and fined $25,000.

According to the criminal complaint, Village of East Troy police responded to reports of shots being fired at an Emery Court apartment around 12:30 p.m. on Jan. 2.

When the first officer arrived at the apartment, he said he saw Sterling “kneeling over a deceased male victim,” who had been shot in the face, according to the complaint. The officer reported there was a “revolver laying on the floor near the victim.”

Another village police officer who responded to the call located the man who lived in the apartment, Tyler M. Odell, outside of the residence, according to the complaint.

In an interview with police, Odell said Bauspies and Sterling were with him in his apartment and Odell “decided to show everyone his gun,” the complaint states. Odell said Bauspies and Sterling had “both been drinking a lot of beer and were ‘“pretty drunk” when Odell took out a .44 Magnum revolver that Odell owns. Odell told police, another man, Richard D. Pryor, arrived at the apartment while Odell was showing off the gun.

According to the complaint, Odell told police he removed the six rounds in the gun and showed it to everyone. Then Odell told police he put one round back in the gun and spun the cylinder and that Sterling saw him do this.

Odell told police he held the gun up to his own head but did not pull the trigger. According to the compliant, Odell then handed the gun to Sterling. Sterling “spun the cylinder” and held the gun up to his own head and “pulled the trigger,” the complaint states. The gun did not go off, Odell told police.

According to the complaint, Odell told police Sterling then pointed the gun at Bauspies and “pulled the trigger, causing the gun to fire.”

Odell told police after Bauspies was shot, Odell and Pryor left the apartment and went to a friend’s house. According to the complaint, Odell later came back to the area of the apartment where he was arrested.

The complaint states Sterling was interviewed by police and told them he had been drinking alcohol on Jan. 1 and 2 and he was at the apartment when Odell brought out the gun to show everyone. Sterling told police Odell removed the gun from a case and the group at the apartment began playing Russian Roulette. Sterling said everyone present handled the gun, according to the complaint.

Sterling told police Odell had handed him the gun and that he was holding the gun by his knee when the gun went off and Bauspies was shot.

Odell, who was not charged as of press time, was scheduled to appear in court on Jan. 10.

Sterling will be in court Jan. 13 for a preliminary hearing.

 
 

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