Murder trial set for January |

Murder trial set for January

by Amy Alonzo

A Gardnerville Ranchos man accused of open murder will go to trial in January.

John E. Stalcup, 57, is accused of shooting his then-girlfriend's grandson, Ian Toepfer, in the head in August of 2015. Toepfer, 19, died the next day from the wound.

Stalcup appeared Monday in Douglas County District Court for his arraignment.

Stalcup admitted to investigators from the start that he shot Toepfer, but said it was an accident. Just hours before the shooting, Toepfer had punched Stalcup in the eye, breaking his eye socket. Both reportedly had been drinking.

On Aug. 18, 2015, deputies responded to two separate calls at 706 Ann Way.

Deputies first responded to the home after Toepfer hit Stalcup in the face, breaking bones in his nose and eye socket.

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The second call, for the shooting, came just over an hour later. Stalcup admitted to investigators he shot Toepfer, but said it was unintentional. Stalcup's girlfriend at the time and his daughter and her boyfriend were also at the house at the time of the shooting.

Stalcup remains out of custody on $25,000 bail. His trial is set to begin Jan. 16, 2018.