It only took about four hours for a Wood County jury to reach a verdict in a reckless homicide case, finding 18-year-old Miguel-Angel Oertel guilty in the shooting death of Theresa Coates last August at her Saratoga home.
The victim’s daughter had broken up with Oertel earlier in the day, and Oertel traveled to the Coates home with a shotgun, claiming he wanted to commit suicide. Oertel said Coates grabbed the barrel and the gun went off as they struggled. Oertel then shot himself in the face.. The jury decided he did intentionally pull the trigger, striking Coates in the chest.
The trial has immediately moved to the second phase, which took only an hour to determine Oertel did have a mental illness, but that illness did not affect his judgement or decision making abilities. Oertel did plead not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect.
The jury had to decide if Oertel was guilty of reckless or negligent homicide, and they decided reckless homicide was appropriate. That charge also carries the potential for more prison time. Sentencing will take place June 13th.