Sparta man charged with homicide, attacking three people with axe

SPARTA, Wis. (WKBT) — A Sparta man is facing homicide and attempted homicide charges after attacking three people with an axe in rural Sparta.

Thomas W. Aspseter, 36, was charged Monday in Monroe County Circuit Court with first-degree intentional homicide, two counts of attempted first-degree intentional homicide, and two counts of aggravated battery using a dangerous weapon.

According to the criminal complaint, Aspseter had broken into the town of Sparta home, where he had previously lived with his grandfather before being asked to leave, June 6 while the residents were at a family function. When they returned, the homeowner and Aspseter’s grandfather, Bernard Waite, 87, told him to get out.

Instead of leaving, Aspseter attacked him with a wood axe, killing him. He then attacked two of Waite’s relatives, Michael R. Waite, 76, and Margaret A. Waite, 73, of Exeland, Wis., who were able to flee to a neighbor’s house.

The neighbor called police. Before police arrived, Aspseter shot himself in the chin with a .22 rifle, according to the complaint.

According to the complaint, Aspseter also called 911 after shooting himself in the throat and admitted to killing his grandfather, saying he “went (expletive) crazy.”

“I don’t know why … I killed him,” Aspseter said.

Police arrived at just before noon June 6 to find Michael Waite covered in blood from a large cut to his face and Margaret Waite bleeding from her arm.

Aspseter is in custody at the Monroe County Jail.

Read the criminal complaint here: Aspseter Complaint