By Shereen Siewert

David Anselmo booking photo, courtesy of the Marathon County Sheriff’s Department

A Wausau-area man who shot his friend in the head after a night of heavy drinking and left without calling for help or trying to save his life was convicted Tuesday on an amended homicide charge, court records show.

David Anselmo, 21, was charged in 2019 with first-degree reckless homicide by use of a dangerous weapon and operating a firearm while intoxicated in connection with the June 7, 2019 shooting death of Troy Wilcox. On Tuesday, Anselmo pleaded guilty to an amended charge of homicide by intoxicated use of a weapon, a felony that carries a maximum penalty of 25 years in the Wisconsin Prison System and a $100,000 fine. The amended charge is a significant reduction from the initial charge, which carried a maximum penalty of 60 years.

According to the criminal complaint, police were called at 3:07 p.m. June 7, 2019 to a home in the 300 block of North Second Avenue for a report of a man who died of a gunshot wound. When officers arrived, they discovered Wilcox, 19, lying on his bed with his head resting against a wall with a gunshot wound above his left eyebrow.

In an initial interview, Anselmo allegedly confirmed he and Wilcox had been together drinking at the home but told police Wilcox was alive when Anselmo left. A video posted to Facebook and shared with Wausau Pilot and Review appears to show Wilcox and Anselmo drinking and playing beer pong together at about 4 a.m. with no one else in the room.

Later in the interview, Anselmo said the two were drinking and playing cards while passing Wilcox’s firearm back and forth, according to the complaint. Wilcox passed the gun to Anselmo, who removed the magazine from the firearm before handing it back and leaving for the bathroom.

After returning from the bathroom, police say Anselmo picked up the gun from the bed, checked to see if a round was in the chamber, pulled the slide back and accidentally pulled the trigger, according to statements he allegedly made to police. After realizing the bullet had struck his friend in the head, Anselmo left the room without performing any lifesaving measures and without seeking assistance, the complaint states.

Court records show Anselmo was on extended supervision for a crime committed in Florida when he was arrested.

A sentencing date for Anselmo, who remains behind bars, has not yet been set.