16 & 17. Lloyd and Michael Gentry

15 & 18 years old

June 23, 2003

Madison

Dane County

Lloyd and Michael Gentry were shot to death by their stepfather, Roger O’Neal, 42. He shot each of them once, killing them instantly.

Roger had been married to Lloyd and Michael’s mother for fourteen years. At the time of the murders, she was in Chicago to be with her family dealing with the imminent death of her sister from cancer. While she was in Chicago, Roger repeatedly called his wife demanding that she return home. She declined and waited with her siblings as her sister died. She then told him when she would return home. Roger killed her two sons before she arrived.

Lloyd was upstairs taking a shower when his stepfather entered the bathroom and shot him once in the head. Roger came down the stairs, passing his own son in the stairwell, and headed outside where Roger’s three stepsons and cousin waited for Lloyd. He pointed the rifle at his 21-year-old stepson and pulled the trigger but was unable to fire the rifle. He then reloaded the chamber and shot Michael in the neck. The others began to run away from the house as Roger fired one more shot, missing them.

He retreated into his home where a 13 hour standoff ensued. More than 50 officers, including a SWAT team, surrounded the house and sent two volleys of tear gas into the house, forcing Roger to surrender.

Roger was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and depression in 2001. Roger has a prior criminal record including one charge of battery to his wife in 1990 and disorderly conduct against his 20-year-old stepson in 2002. At the trial, his wife testified that about four months before the shooting she and Roger had discussed divorce and Roger had moved into his own bedroom, agreeing to leave by June or July.

The jury rejected Roger’s insanity plea and found him guilty of two counts of First Degree Intentional Homicide and one count of First Degree Recklessly Endangering Safety. The prosecutor speculated that the jury believed Roger acted out of revenge towards his wife because she wanted a divorce. He was sentenced to two consecutive life sentences with five additional consecutive years followed by two years of extended supervision.

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