COLUMBIA, Ill. – A 55-year-old man who police say accidentally shot himself to death while trying to change a tire died a day before he was to stand trial on child molestation and sodomy charges.
State Police Lt. James Morrisey says Gary Wessel of Waterloo apparently was trying to pull a jack out of his pickup truck Sunday night along Interstate 255 near Columbia when it snagged a gun case.
A shotgun inside the case accidentally discharged, shooting Wessel in the chest.
His body was found near the truck on the road's shoulder.
Wessel was to go to trial Monday in St. Louis on two counts of child molestation and one count of sodomy.
Wessel was indicted in September of last year and had been free on $75,000 bond.