By Joe Bachman
“In hearing this case throughout, one word always kept coming to mind — and that word is ‘tragic’.”
Words from Wood County Circuit Court Judge Gregory Potter minutes before sentencing 18-year-old Miguel Angel Oertel to 15 years imprisonment and 15 years extended supervision for a reckless homicide charge stemming from an incident in August of 2015.
The incident saw a mentally unstable Oertel run into the home of 47-year-old Theresa Coates with a loaded shotgun only to threaten to take his own life. After a brief struggle, the gun went off and fatally wounded Coates. Oertel would then turn the gun on himself, though he would survive his injuries.
On Apr. 20, a jury found Oertel guilty for reckless homicide, stating that while Oertel was suffering from a mental illness at the time, he was fully responsible for his actions.
“There’s a lot of things I want to change,” said a teary-eyed Oertel, as he spoke to Judge Potter. “I don’t know if what I’ve done makes me a bad person, but if it does, it’s one of the things I want to change most.”
In addition to his sentence, Oertel is to obtain mental health assessment, as well as take any medications as perscribed. Oertel is also to find full time employment after his release, and will pay an unspecified amount of restitution.
“Mr. Oertel, you’ve been referred to as a young man,” said Judge Potter. “However, I don’t believe your actions or your behavior are indicative of that — I think you’re more of an immature boy.”