Trial to Begin for Casper Man Accused of Fatally Shooting Mother
The Casper man accused of fatally shooting his mother inside her home earlier this year will stand trial in a Natrona County courtroom this week.
Andrew Steplock, 28, is charged with first-degree murder, second-degree murder, aggravated burglary and possession of a deadly weapon with intent to cause bodily injury. He could face up to life in prison without the possibility of parole if convicted of the first-degree murder charge.
At his arraignment in May, Steplock pleaded not guilty and not guilty by reason of mental illness to all charges.
Steplock allegedly broke into his parents' home in the early hours of Feb. 26. He later told police, according to court documents, that he went there to steal money, a day after arguing with his mother about finances.
Deborah Steplock, 58, was still awake and heard a noise at the back door. When she found her son entering the house, he allegedly shot her.
Police officers responded at roughly 1 a.m. and found Deborah Steplock with a gunshot wound to her head. Her husband was performing first aid.
Steplock left in his mother's car. Detectives tracked his cell phone and found him sleeping inside the vehicle at a truck stop in Loveland, Colorado.
That afternoon, doctors determined that Deborah Steplock would not recover from the wound. She was kept on life support for another two days so her organs could be donated.
Following his arrest, Andrew Steplock allegedly told a detective that he had wanted to find and kill his father immediately after shooting his mother. In August, Assistant District Attorney Kevin Taheri asked District Judge Daniel Forgey to admit that evidence at trial.
Prosecutors decided against pursuing the death penalty.
The trial was originally set for August, but a delay in a mental health evaluation by the Wyoming State Hospital forced Forgey to reschedule.
Steplock remains in custody. His bond is set at $1 million, but he will be allowed to appear without restraints and in normal clothing during the trial.
A jury is set to be selected Monday, with opening statements from the prosecution and defense likely beginning in the afternoon.
The trial is scheduled to run through Friday.