By Shereen Siewert

MERRILL — A Wausau man who claimed insanity in the fatal shooting of a friend was convicted this week of first degree intentional homicide in connection with the 2017 murder.

Eric Moen, 35, pleaded guilty to the charge, which carries a mandatory life sentence, Tuesday in Lincoln County Circuit Court.

Police say Moen shot 52-year-old Charles Ramp, of Tomahawk, five times with a .20-gauge shotgun on Nov. 16, 2017 after luring him outside of his home. The two men were friends for several years before the shooting.

Ramp was taken to Ascension Sacred Heart Hospital in Tomahawk, where he died of his injuries.

During a February 2018 arraignment hearing, Moen pleaded not guilty by reason of disease or defect. The so-called insanity defense asserts that a defendant is not responsible for criminal conduct because he did not possess “substantial capacity either to appreciate the criminality of his conduct or to conform his conduct to the requirements of the law,” according to the Legal Information Institute.

But that claim appears to have fallen apart following a court-ordered competency exam filed early last year that was reviewed by prosecutors and defense attorneys shortly before Moen entered his plea, court records show.

Moen, who remains behind bars, will be sentenced Sept. 2. Though the charge carries a mandatory life sentence, a judge can decide at sentencing whether Moen could eventually be released on extended supervision.