MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A 44-year-old western Wisconsin man faces over 20 years in prison for the killing of his son at their home in 2018.
On Friday, Kayle Fleischauer of New Richmond was sentenced to 22 years in prison by a St. Croix County judge — 20 years for reckless homicide and two years for being a felon in possession of a firearm.
Kayle Alan Fleischauer. of New Richmond, was charged with first-degree murder and being a felon in possession of a firearm in connection with the shooting, which left 20-year-old Chase Fleischauer dead.
According to court documents, the St. Croix County Sheriff’s Office was called just after 4 a.m. last Saturday to a residence on the 1400 block of 142nd Street in Richmond Township after a woman called saying her brother had been shot in the head. The woman said the man had shot himself.
When officers arrived, they found first responders performing CPR on Chase Fleischauer. He was laying on his back in the dining room area, between the kitchen and living room. The complaint states his father, Kayle Fleischauer, and sister, Somer Fleischauer, were sitting on the ground in the upper living room. Somer was very emotional at the scene and had a hard time controlling herself. Kayle was very calm and has his hand around Somer.
The complaint states officers took Somer to the downstairs area of the home to talk about what happened. Kayle was also told to leave the upper area of the home, had difficulty with his balance and smelled strongly of alcohol. He eventually leaned up against a door leading to the garage, grabbed his stomach and made comments about his weight. He also laughed randomly.
Kayle told police he was in the kitchen at the time of the shooting, said he didn’t witness Chase shoot himself and when asked to say his last name, said, “I’m going to tell you how it is… I didn’t kill my Chase.”
According to the complaint, Kayle became angry when an officer asked to take his picture. Kayle asked the officer if he wanted “some c**k” and started pulling down his pants to expose his genitals. He was eventually handcuffed for acting in a threatening manner.
The complaint states officers went upstairs and saw a live handgun in the upper living room, where Kayle and Somer had been sitting. It was located about 10 to 15 feet from Chase’s body. The gun had multiple live rounds inside the magazine.
Officers talked with Somer, who said, “I don’t know why my dad would do this.” The officer asked her what he did, and she said, “He obviously f*****g shot him in the head.” She told police her grandpa passed away about a month ago, and Kayle was having a hard time with it. They were all together planning a funeral, and they got together for drinks and dinner.
Somer told police she was sleeping, but woke up to something loud and knew something was wrong. She said she went upstairs and saw Chase on the floor with blood everywhere, but didn’t see Kayle. She saw him from a hallway behind her, and he wasn’t calling anybody. She was trying to help Chase when Kayle told her to stop.
The complaint states the two were fighting because Kayle was picking on Chase for not protecting his sister. She said her brother would never hurt himself, and Kayle told her he had 18 guns in the house. She found Chase on his back, and her dad was yelling expletives.
Investigators say Chase Fleischauer died of a gunshot wound to the head and his manner of death was a homicide. He was shot from about 1.5 feet away, and his injuries were consistent with the two having an altercation of some sort.
Kayle Fleischauer is in the St. Croix County Jail on $500,000 bail.
Nick Schnagl, a high school friend of Chase Fleischauer, described him as an ambitious student at St. Cloud State University.
“Chase was a happy person,” he said. “He was very smart and wanted to do things that the average person probably couldn’t.”
Nick and Chase went to Tartan High School together, where they both played football. Chase was a sophomore at St. Cloud State University when he died. The two stayed in touch over the years.
“He was very happy. He had a lot of support around him,” Schnagl said.
A Facebook page is raising money to help the family cover funeral expenses.