porkchop Posted February 24, 2005 Share Posted February 24, 2005 3 Indiana men charged in death of pal trying out 'bulletproof' vest February 13, 2005 Daniel Wright was going to join the military, and he wanted some experience. So the 20-year-old went to a field in Hobart, donned what he thought was a bulletproof vest and turned to his friends with instructions. "Shoot me. I'm ready," Wright said. Later, his friends concocted a story about a shooting on a Gary street, police said. One day later, police had uncovered the lie, and detectives detailed a deadly game gone wrong. "He voluntarily put on the vest because he wanted to experience what a .20-gauge shotgun would do," Hobart, Ind., police Lt. Leo Finnerty said Friday. The experience left Wright mortally wounded at the hand of a friend, not, as his companions originally reported, murdered by a stranger outside a Gary liquor store. Now, three Hobart men have been charged in connection with Wright's shooting death. Finnerty said the trio made up the story after Wright, 20, of Crown Point, was fatally shot before dawn Thursday during a bizarre test of what he thought was a bulletproof vest. It turned out to be a flak jacket, which Finnerty said is not designed to stop a bullet. Robert Lee Stottlemire, 20, of Hobart, was charged with reckless homicide. Two other Hobart men, Brock Bieker, 19, and Michael J. Searle, 18, are charged with concealing the homicide. Bieker and Searle are also charged with giving Gary police false information, a misdemeanor. Story fell apart, cop says Here is what police say happened: Wright, 20, and his friends drove to a soggy farm field about 2:30 a.m. Thursday, where he put on the flak jacket and urged a friend to shoot. The shotgun came from the house Bieker shares with his parents. Stottlemire put one shell into the shotgun and fired it into the ground. He loaded another round. Walking three to six feet away from Wright, Stottlemire fired again, striking Wright in the chest. The Lake County coroner's office said the plastic cartridge fired from the shotgun pierced his chest and some of the shotgun pellets ripped into his heart. After helping put Wright in the car, Stottlemire ran off. Bieker and Searle drove Wright to St. Mary Medical Center. There, they told a Hobart police officer Wright was shot near 41st Avenue and Broadway in Gary. But Gary Police Detective Thomas Decanter said the story started to fall apart as soon as he began questioning the pair. Stottlemire and Searle are in police custody. Bieker is still at large. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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