Two arrested in connection with East Troy shooting death

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Jonah Beleckis and Shelly Birkelo | January 4, 2017

EAST TROY--Two people are in custody at the Walworth County Jail in connection with an East Troy shooting death Monday.

One person was found dead Monday afternoon in East Troy, according to a Village of East Troy Police Department news release.

The incident was reported at 12:28 p.m. Monday at 2090 Emery Court. It appears to be isolated and no other suspects are being sought, according to the release.

Robert Sterling, 31, of McHenry, Illinois, and Tyler Odell, 22, of 2090 Emery Court, No. 3, East Troy, appeared in Walworth County Court on Tuesday on tentative charges related to reckless homicide.

Sterling was referred to the district attorney's office on charges of reckless homicide and homicide by negligent handling of a dangerous weapon, District Attorney Zeke Wiedenfeld said in court. Odell was referred on suspicion of party to reckless homicide.

Village of East Troy police would not confirm Sterling and Odell are the two people they arrested Monday.
Police declined to identify the person killed.

Wiedenfeld said more details about the incident will be included in criminal complaints prosecutors expect to file later this week.

Reading from a notice of arrest in court Tuesday, Wiedenfeld said Sterling fired the weapon that resulted in the death.

Wiedenfeld said Odell “provided the firearm as well as loaded it.” Odell's notice of arrest “describes the very reckless behavior engaged in,” Wiedenfeld said.

Judge Kristine Drettwan set cash bonds of $20,000 for Sterling and $10,000 for Odell. She said both amounts were reasonable given the severity of the allegations.

Defense attorney Julia May, who represented both men separately Tuesday, said neither could afford the bonds. She said Odell was close to hiring a private attorney, and Sterling qualified for a public defender.

Odell was planning to move to Arizona in March to live and work with his family, May said.

Odell attended Badger High School and has a high school diploma, May said. He has worked in general construction in East Troy for the last three years.

Sterling also is a high school graduate. He lives in McHenry with his mother and his 1-year-old son, whom he supports, May said. In the summer months, he does tree work, and in winter he works as a snowplow operator, she said.

Village of East Troy police said Tuesday the incident still was under investigation and a news release with more information would be sent Wednesday.

Sterling is next due in court at 1:15 p.m. Friday. Odell is next due in court at 1:15 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 10.

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