Day of drinking among friends ends in death of Vernon Twp. man, 20

By Ed Runyan


Police have charged a 20-year-old Farmdale man with second-degree murder in the shooting death of a friend during an argument at a home in Vernon Township after a day of drinking.

Ryan Wrightsman, of 4413 state Route 87, will be arraigned today in Eastern District Court in Brookfield. He was arrested Wednesday morning.

He’s accused of killing Joshua Soles, 20, of 7480 state Route 7, at Soles’ home at 9:30 p.m. Tuesday. Sheriff Thomas Altiere said the two men had grown up and gone to school together and “got into arguments a lot.”

On Tuesday, Wrightsman, Soles and a third man had been drinking throughout the day and using marijuana, the sheriff said.

At 9:30, the third man called 911 in a panicked voice, saying, “Help, please. My friend just shot himself.”

The dispatcher asked if the victim was still breathing, and the man said, “No, I think he’s dead.”

When deputies arrived, they found Soles inside the house dead, the victim of a gunshot wound to the upper body. The firearm was found nearby, and the two other men were still there.

Altiere said the investigation that ensued indicated that the gunshot wound was not self-inflicted, and Wrightsman was in custody throughout the night.

Wrightsman was questioned Wednesday morning and arrested, said Major Thomas Stewart of the sheriff’s office.

“The evidence at the scene didn’t point to self-inflicted,” Altiere said.

The charge filed against Wrightsman was second-degree murder, Altiere and Stewart said, because there was no evidence that the killing was premeditated.

No charges have been filed against the third man.

Altiere and Stewart said they could not remember the last time there was a homicide in Vernon Township.

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