IM this article to a friend!

December 26, 2002

Man fatally shot while delivering Christmas gift

From: Bloomington Herald Times, IN - 26 Dec 2002

Associated Press

LAPORTE — A man has been charged with murder in the death of his brother-in-law, who was shot while delivering a surprise gift for his mother-in-law.

Alex Stassel, 44, was charged with murder Monday in the death of Art Lisiecki, 48, of Michigan City. Lisiecki was fatally shot at Stassel's house Sunday afternoon.

Lisiecki had gone to the home of his mother-in-law, Ruth Stassel, who lived with her son, to install a telephone for the hearing-impaired.

"It was a surprise Christmas gift that the family was aware of," Dick Buell, the LaPorte County chief of detectives, told the LaPorte Herald-Argus on Tuesday.

About an hour after Lisiecki was shot, passersby saw Lisiecki's body lying next to a small trailer outside the home.

Stassel told police he just wanted Lisiecki "to go away" when Stassel shot him three times in the torso as Lisiecki stood in the kitchen, authorities said.

Walking upstairs from the basement, Stassel reportedly yelled at him to "Get out of here, you jerk," before firing the .45-caliber handgun, authorities said.

Stassel said he was unaware of his brother-in-law's intentions to install a telephone.

"Through interviews we have found no indications of any altercations or problems between the two men," Buell said. "This is a bizarre case which makes no sense. No shooting is justified, but this one is just illogical and strange."

When paramedics knocked on Stassel's door, he denied knowing Lisiecki and did not say much else before walking back inside. Minutes later, he walked outside carrying a blanket, apparently intending to cover the body.

He is being held without bond at the LaPorte County Jail, awaiting an initial appearance court on Friday.

© Bloomington Herald Times