Man admits to 2015 Ranchos shooting |

Man admits to 2015 Ranchos shooting

Attorney Matthew Work stands with client John Stalcup, who admitted one count of voluntary manslaughter in Douglas County District Court on Wednesday.
Kurt Hildebrand

A Gardnerville Ranchos man admitted Wednesday to the 2015 shooting death of his then-girlfriend’s grandson.

John Edgar Stalcup, 59, entered a guilty plea to one count of voluntary manslaughter with a deadly weapon in Douglas County District Court.

It has been almost three years since the altercation that led to 19-year-old Ian Toepfer’s shooting.

On Wednesday, Stalcup told District Judge Tom Gregory he understood the maximum penalty would be consecutive 10-year prison sentences.

Stalcup is also eligible for probation. Prosecutor Ric Casper said the state would be arguing against probation at Stalcup’s Oct. 11 sentencing.

Stalcup’s guilty plea was part of an agreement in which prosecutors would not seek more than five years for the deadly weapon enhancement.

Casper will be free to argue for any sentence up to the maximum 10 years on the underlying manslaughter charge.

Defense attorney Matthew Work said he intended to call five witnesses at sentencing on Stalcup’s behalf.

Stalcup is free on $25,000 bail, though Casper asked the judge to revoke it given the nature of the offense.

Work argued Stalcup had steady employment and family in the area. He said Stalcup has never missed a hearing or an appointment and never violated his bail conditions.

The shooting occurred after a fight earlier that night when Toepfer hit Stalcup in the face, breaking bones in his nose and eye. Toepfer left the scene with his grandmother, but returned a short time later when he was shot.

Stalcup admitted to have been drinking beer that night and had a .024 blood alcohol content more than three hours after the shooting occurred.

Toepfer was declared dead the next day from the head wound.

A Sept. 4 trial was ordered vacated.