Crime

South Hill man guilty in roommate’s shooting death

Michael Boisselle faces a standard range of 17 years to 25 years and four months in prison after being convicted of second-degree murder in the shooting death of his roommate, Brandon Zomalt. In addition to the homicide, the jury found Boisselle guilty of unlawful gun possession.
Michael Boisselle faces a standard range of 17 years to 25 years and four months in prison after being convicted of second-degree murder in the shooting death of his roommate, Brandon Zomalt. In addition to the homicide, the jury found Boisselle guilty of unlawful gun possession. Courtesy

A jury convicted a man of second-degree murder Monday in the shooting of his South Hill roommate.

Michael Boisselle, 36, argued at trial that he shot 30-year-old Brandon Zomalt in self-defense in August 2014.

Pierce County prosecutors said that after the shooting Boisselle burned carpet stained with Zomalt’s blood along an Auburn road.

Weeks later, detectives found Zomalt’s body at the duplex where the men lived.

Boisselle initially was charged with first-degree murder and second-degree murder, which meant jurors had to decide whether the shooting was premeditated.

After deliberating Monday morning, jury members said they’d fail to agree on the question — seven believed the death was premeditated, and five did not.

That meant Boisselle was convicted of the lesser crime of second-degree murder.

Boisselle’s public defender, John McNeish, said at trial that Zomalt had been homeless and Boisselle had let him stay at the duplex.

The defense attorney said the shooting happened after Zomalt held Boisselle hostage in the duplex at gunpoint, and Boisselle grabbed the gun and fired.

Prosecutors had contended Boisselle was tired of Zomalt living at his house and wanted him to leave.

At sentencing June 10, Boisselle will face a standard range of 17 years to 25 years and four months in prison. In addition to the homicide, the jury found him guilty of unlawful gun possession.

Alexis Krell: 253-597-8268, @amkrell

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