By Joe Bachman
It took a jury a little over two hours to find 57-year-old Ronald Horan guilty of second-degree reckless homicide on Thursday afternoon.
Horan was charged with causing the death of his brother, 52-year-old Tracey Horan, after an argument led to the defendant slamming a door into his brother, forcing him down a flight of stairs in Ronald’s upstairs apartment. After discovering his brother, fatally wounded at the bottom of the stairs a few minutes later, Horan went back upstairs for over an hour to drink a beer.
He would later decide to bury the body in his backyard before making a 911 call to report the crime.
“Tracey Horan is dead, and why he’s dead is because of the defendant’s actions,” said District Attorney Craig Lambert in his closing statements. “I want to dispel the notion that this is somehow a tragic accident — this was not an accident.”
“There is no evidence that Tracey didn’t slip,” said defense attorney Gary Kryshak. “The only thing we have is that he slammed the door, and somehow it hit him — when we look at reckless homicide, the action itself has to cause great bodily harm.”
Horan is currently serving out a sentence for a non-related charge at a Wisconsin state prison in Oshkosh. Horan will face up to 25 years imprisonment for his conviction of second-degree reckless homicide.
His sentencing hearing is scheduled for Dec. 5.