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Charges: Western Wisconsin man killed father with 2-by-4 piece of lumber

Gary Styer Photo: Dunn County Sheriff's Department
Gary Styer

Updated: January 23, 2020 06:28 PM

A western Wisconsin man has been charged after authorities say he killed his father with a piece of lumber.

Gary Styer, 51, of Colfax, is charged with first-degree intentional homicide for his father's death.

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According to a criminal complaint, Dunn County deputies were called to a home near State Highway 40 and 730th Avenue in Colfax at about 6 p.m. on Jan. 15 for a welfare check on Styer's father, Edward.

Deputies responded and found the home was locked. The complaint states they then learned Styer was at the Eau Claire Public Library and his father was dead inside the home, and they proceeded to kick in the door to gain entry to the house.

Inside a bedroom, a deputy found the body of Styer's father and a large amount of blood on the bed he was in and over the walls. The complaint states the deputy initially suspected the victim suffered a gunshot wound to the head due to all of the blood splatter until finding a two-by-four piece of lumber about 4 feet long that was covered in blood.

A medical examiner later confirmed the death was due to multiple blunt force injuries to the head, and Edward's death was ruled a homicide.

The following day, investigators conducted multiple interviews with Styer, who made previous written statements that he'd killed his father with a two-by-four. In one of the interviews, Styer admitted he'd entered his father's room sometime before dawn at struck his father multiple times with a two-by-four, the complaint states. He also allegedly said after he had bludgeoned his father, he covered his father's body up with a blanket.

The complaint states Styer said he killed his father because of years of emotional abuse and physical abuse when he was a child. Styer also allegedly told investigators his father's comments about Styer's lack of employment re-enforced his feelings about himself.

He is being held on a $250,000 cash bond. His first court appearance was Tuesday.

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