Letters from loved ones say Dean Stamm victim of depression


A Waukesha man who pointed an unloaded rifle at police during a January standoff could be facing decades in prison after pleading guilty to several felonies linked to the incident.

Dean Stamm, 51, entered his pleas during a Sept. 1 hearing in Waukesha County Circuit Court, according to online court records. Judge Lloyd Carter presided over the hearing and will sentence Stamm in November.

Stamm pleaded guilty to five counts of pointing a firearm at a law enforcement officer, a class H felony that carries a maximum sentence of six years in prison and $10,000 in fines. He was originally facing seven additional charges – a sixth felony count and six misdemeanors – after he was arrested for apparently trying to bait officers into shooting him Jan. 24 by pointing an assault rifle and a laser sight at them when they arrived at his Douglas Street home to perform a well-being check on him.

According to a criminal complaint, Stamm's girlfriend requested the check because she was concerned Stamm — who was depressed and had been drinking that day and had easy access to his assault rifle — would kill himself.

Police shot but did not kill Stamm after he ignored commands to drop the rifle and pointed it at three officers, the complaint said. Those officers fired 12 rounds, and Stamm suffered three gunshots wounds as a result – though all three were caused by the same bullet, according to the complaint.

Stamm said in the complaint he wanted the officers to fatally shoot him, a scenario he reportedly dubbed "suicide by cop."

The complaint said Stamm later told an officer he couldn't believe "Waukesha snipers could not hit him in the head," because that's what he wanted.

All the remaining charges pending against Stamm – five misdemeanor counts of intentionally directing a laser pointer at law enforcement officers, felony resisting an officer and causing substantial bodily harm (one officer was injured while trying to avoid being shot by Stamm) and misdemeanor resisting or obstructing an officer – were dismissed but read into the court record as part of a plea agreement, online records show.

Victim of depression

In an email to Waukesha Now earlier this year, Stamm's girlfriend said she wanted people to know that Stamm is a "decent person" who was sick with depression when the standoff occurred, possibly related to memories of his late wife.

"No excuses, he is responsible," she wrote, " but please remember ... that he was loved. I can only hope he gets the help he needs when he is sentenced."

More than a dozen letters from Stamm's family members, co-workers and friends citing similar sentiments were filed with the court before the Sept. 1 plea hearing.

One longtime friend wrote, "I believe (Stamm) can continue to be a contributing member of society."

"This incidence was 10 minutes in his life time," Stamm's mother wrote, "and I will not let it discount all of the wonderful things he has done for his family and friends."

Stamm's sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 11.

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