Bomb charges lodged against Fruita slaying suspect

Wayne Gert

In a five-count complaint filed this morning, prosecutors allege murder suspect Wayne Gert had an “explosive or incendiary device” and the means to detonate it.

Gert, 37, was formally charged by prosecutors with second-degree murder in the May 21 shooting death of his roommate, Henry Trisler Jr., at Gert’s mobile home in Fruita. Gert was charged with felony menacing and misdemeanor prohibited use of a weapon, alleging he was intoxicated when he shot Trisler. Prosecutors also filed felony counts of possession of an explosive or incendiary device, in addition to possession of explosives parts, specifically a “timing device, clock or watch.”

The bomb allegations are not addressed in Gert’s arrest affidavit, while prosecutors this morning declined further comment.

The U.S. Army confirmed to the Daily Sentinel earlier this week that Gert received training in rockets, earning the rank of specialist working with multiple rocket-launch systems during his service between March 1992 and September 1997.

Gert’s father has said his son had more recently been treated for bipolar and schizophrenia through Grand Junction’s VA Hospital.

An arrest affidavit alleges that Gert, who appeared intoxicated to arresting Fruita officers, claimed he shot in self-defense after Trisler had lunged at him. He also told officers that Trisler didn’t need a doctor, but instead a coroner, saying, “I’ve been trained to shoot to kill,” the affidavit said.

Gert is expected to return before District Judge Thomas Deister on June 14, when Public Defender Steve Colvin said he will argue for reduced or modified bond. Gert is being held on $500,000 bond.


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