3 Wisconsin men charged in homemade cannon death
WAUPACA, Wis. (AP) — Three Wisconsin men are charged after a homemade "cannon" exploded in Marion, killing an Illinois man last weekend.
The three are charged in Waupaca County with homicide by negligent handling of explosives, a felony.
Forty-two-year-old Kenneth Niemer of Clintonville, 37-year-old Robert Mattes of New London and 60-year-old Scott Mattes of Marion appeared in court Wednesday. Signature bonds of $25,000 were set for each man.
WLUK-TV reports the men were using a 4-foot-long (1.2 meters) steel pipe with a plug welded onto the bottom.
According to the complaint, after the first attempt to ignite the device failed, it exploded during the second try, sending a piece of shrapnel that killed 44-year-old Paul Casperson of Belvidere, Illinois, on Sunday night.
The complaint says the victim's wife made two videos of the incident.
This story corrects age of one defendant from 38 to 42 and another from 38 to 37.