The man who pulled the trigger and killed his best friend during a game of drunken Russian roulette is in prison, but the man accused of bringing out the gun is scheduled for a jury trial later this month.
Tyler M. Odell, 23, of 2090 Emery Court., No. 3, East Troy, appeared in Walworth County Court on Thursday for a final pretrial hearing. He is charged with party to first-degree reckless homicide in the Jan. 2, 2017, shooting death of David Bauspies, 36.
Odell’s four-day jury trial is scheduled to begin at 8:30 a.m. Monday, April 23.
Robert Sterling was sentenced in fall to 15 years in prison after pleading guilty to first-degree reckless homicide for causing Bauspies’ death while the two men were helping Odell move.
Sterling, who is serving time at the Dodge Correctional Institution, is listed on the defense’s witness list for trial.
Odell, Sterling, Bauspies and another man had been drinking before Odell brought out his .44 Magnum revolver, according to the criminal complaint. Odell then put one round in the chamber and pointed the gun at his head, but he told police he did not pull the trigger.
Sterling then held the gun to his own head and pulled the trigger, but the gun did not fire, the complaint states. Where exactly Sterling held the gun next has been disputed, but he pulled the trigger, shooting Bauspies in the face.
At his sentencing, Sterling said the shooting was unintentional because he did not think there was a bullet in the gun.
Odell pleaded not guilty to the homicide charge Feb. 3, 2017.
He also pleaded not guilty to a new charge of battery by prisoners for an alleged Nov. 24, 2017, incident, court records show. He has a final pretrial hearing on that charge at 2:30 p.m. May 31.
Based on the seriousness of the charge, Odell will be restrained during his trial but in a way that will not be visible to the jury, Judge Kristine Drettwan ruled Thursday.
He is currently in jail.