Second degree murder charges in the Oct. 17, 2018 shooting have been amended to first degree murder. Maxwell Schwartz, 30, was arrested after he allegedly stabbed and shot his 32-year-old brother Joseph Schwartz in downtown Douglas.
Schwartz was originally charged with aggravated assault and second degree murder. Court documents show that the second degree murder charge was amended to first degree murder after Schwartz’ preliminary hearing Dec. 17, 2018.
Officers responded to a residence after a 911 call was made where a male, believed to be Joseph, requested help for his “little brother,” presumably Maxwell, according to court documents.
The caller was talking to dispatch when he suddenly began asking “Max” what he was doing. Joseph became louder and yelled, “Max, you just stabbed me.” The dispatcher attempted to question what was happening when Joseph again spoke with Max: “Give me that” and “Oh my gosh, Max. Are you (expletive) kidding me?” court documents quoted the 911 call transcript.
Upon arrival at the scene, officers reported hearing screaming coming from inside the house. Officers forced their way into the residence and saw a male laying in the hallway with a pool of blood around his head, according to court documents.
Officers also found Maxwell laying on the kitchen floor screaming. While being removed from the residence, Maxwell kicked an officer’s leg and was placed under arrest on a charge unrelated to the shooting, according to court documents.
Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation agents reported that they could hear a lot of commotion in the background of the recorded call. The dispatcher attempted to speak with Joseph several times with no response, according to court documents.
DCI was called in to assist Douglas Police Department with the investigation.
Upon arriving, officers had also encountered Kelsie Stotsky and two children who live in the residence. Stotsky stated to officers that she put her two children to bed and was in her room watching TV. She heard a commotion and looked out her room where she saw Joseph running through the kitchen toward the front door.
Stotsky stated she saw Max in the kitchen with a pistol in his left hand and he was pointing it toward Joseph. Stotsky told officers she heard a loud “pop” and saw Joseph fall to the ground, according to court documents.
After securing the residence, officers found a spent 9mm casing near Joseph’s body and a Sig Sauer 9mm pistol on the kitchen counter, court documents stated.
A knife was also found with blood on it. The knife matched the description that Stotsky had given earlier, according to the police affidavit.
Aggravated assault, a felony, is punishable with a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and $10,000 fine.
First degree murder, also a felony, carries a maximum sentence of life in prison and $10,000 fine.
Schwartz has been bound over to the Eighth Judicial District Court to stand trial.