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Cop Says He 'Feels Terrible' Drunk Woman Shot Herself to Death With His Gun

Sergeant could be suspended or fired for picking up the woman during a domestic dispute call and buying her more booze while on duty in 2009.

Sgt. Steven Lesner and the late Catherine Weiland, 47
Sgt. Steven Lesner and the late Catherine Weiland, 47
A Chicago police sergeant who met a drunken woman during a domestic dispute, drove her home, bought her wine on the way, then returned to her apartment with more booze after his shift ended says he "feels terrible" the woman shot herself to death that night with his gun.

Sgt. Steven Lesner — who pleaded guilty Friday to several misconduct charges — told a Chicago Police Board hearing officer that he was in the bathroom urinating and washing his hands when he heard the gunshot.

Lesner emerged to find Catherine Weiland, 47, dead on her loveseat.

"I realized she wasn't moving," Lesner testified. "She looked DOA ... I saw blood dripping out of her ear. I called 911 immediately."

Police and paramedics who responded to the Northwest Side home that night, in February 2009, found his 9mm semiautomatic pistol on her lap.

Lesner testified the gun had been strapped to his ankle, but he took the holster off and placed it on the floor while they were drinking and on the couch together.

"It was a helluva night," he said.

Lesner was married at the time but is divorced now. He denied that he had sex with Weiland.

According to investigative reports, a relative of Weiland's told police she was alcoholic, bipolar and off her medications.

Lesner on Friday pleaded guilty to bringing discredit to the department, leaving his weapon unattended and buying alcohol while on duty.

"I feel terrible. ... I feel terrible that a human life has ended," he testified. "I feel sorry for what I've caused the Weiland family."

Lesner, a 20-year veteran of the department who's been on restricted duty since November, faces possible suspension or firing. A decision isn't expected until July.

The Internal Affairs Division has been investigating Weiland’s death for years.

In 2009, the Cook County medical examiner’s office determined that a bullet from Lesner’s gun was fired into Weiland's right temple, killing her. But gunshot residue was only found her her left hand, and Lesner had washed his hands before he was tested.

Last August, the Chicago Sun-Times began a series of reports on the shooting.

The scope of the Sun-Times coverage can be read here:

amram everett May 30, 2014 at 10:25 AM
how do you shoot your self with your left hand in your right temple...... sounds like this swine killed her.
Dan Cox May 30, 2014 at 07:53 PM
After being with him, she decided to check-out.
Bob Vey May 31, 2014 at 09:25 AM
She was right handed; but they found NO residue on her right hand.??? That sounds Very Strange. But they Did find it on her Left hand??? That sounds even more Strange. When you shoot a 9mm there is a recoil & the gun would have fallen out of her hand (when she died) the muscles would have relaxed. So then the gun would have fallen to her Right, on the Couch or it would have bounced off the Couch & onto the Floor. But they found it in Front of her, on her Lap????. That also sounds Very Strange!!! It sounds like a MURDER to me. They should have gone back to the scene, checked the sink & the pipes for gunshot residue. Were her Fingerprints even on the Gun??? It sounds like Sloppy Police work or a White Wash, or a Cover up!!!
Jeramiah Johnson June 09, 2014 at 10:25 AM
IAD, 4 years, sounds like a cover up. right temple left hand should have been a slam dunk
Darth Vader June 17, 2014 at 11:51 PM
Sounds like another cop taking advantage of a drunk and distressed lady. Wasn't there another incident a couple years ago where 2 cops tagged team a intoxicated girl after she got into an argument with her bf and stormed out of his apartment.

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