Man Accused Of Killing Another Man For Stealing His Reptiles, Including Mexican Bearded Lizards

Daniel Tadevosyan/Shutterstock

Adam Barnes General Assignment Reporter
Font Size:

A Wisconsin man was charged with first-degree intentional homicide for allegedly killing another man for stealing his reptiles and equipment, which were valued at $27,850, the Associated Press reported.

Bill Zelenski, a 44-year-old man from Waupaca, allegedly shot an 18-year-old man on Monday, according to the AP. The victim’s mother, 34-year-old Tiffany Powell, was charged with first-degree intentional homicide as a party to a crime.

A criminal complaint said that Zelenski called authorities Monday to identify two people who he believed had burglarized his home, the report added. The complaint adds the Mexican bearded lizards, worth an estimated $17,000, were among the stolen items. (RELATED: Stolen Lemur Found On Church Playground Returned To Zoo)

The complaint also stated Zelenski and Powell confronted Powell’s son, one of the alleged burglars, after Zelenski’s initial call, according to the report. Zelenski took out a shotgun after Powell’s son took off his shirt to fight. Zelenski handed the gun to Powell, at one point, and Powell pointed the gun at the her son and then gave it back to Zelenski, the report adds.

A doorbell camera reportedly captured the event, according to the complaint, but the document doesn’t say whether it confirms who took the fatal shot, the report added.

Zelenski called 911 to report the incident and said he was attacked, the AP reported.

“I wish this didn’t happen,” Crystal Zeske, a friend of Zelenski’s, told FOX11. “This is all unfortunate for everyone involved.”

“He took that boy under his wing,” Zeske told FOX. “He was good friends with the boy’s mother. The boy, he took him on jobs. He worked at a tree service with him. He got him other odds and ends jobs in places. I thought they were pretty tight.”

Waupaca County Judge Ramond Huber ordered Zelenski to be held without bond. Powell was put in jail on probation hold with a $500,000 cash bond.