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

Sgt. Steven Lesner and the late Catherine Weiland, 47Lincoln Park Patch – by Dennis Robaugh

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:

10 thoughts on “Cop Says He ‘Feels Terrible’ Drunk Woman Shot Herself to Death With His Gun

  1. When I read this story the first thing that came into my mind is what DiggerDan would have had to say. We all knew how he felt about

    God rest his precious soul!

      1. Hi, Angel-NYC! I guess you live in New York City?
        We live in the Orlando, Florida area.

        We will certainly miss Digger’s comments. I think that what endeared him to me is the fact that by his comments he reminded me of my own father, a hard-working, God-fearing, American-loving man who said what he meant and meant what he said!!

        1. 🙂
          Like Millard, I keep expecting digger to call or to see a post. 🙁
          Yes, I put NYC w/ my moniker because it is where I am residing. When the Trenches first started, we all used names/initials/ monikers hyphenated w/ the state where we were located (I was a bit more specific. LOL). Hubby and I are both Texans, born and raised. Texas is “Home” for us. We go back every year, when we can. It is where our roots are. When we move back permanently, I will be Angel-TX. 😉

          1. Gotta love Texas!!! There is no place like home. I have lived in Florida since I was 11 years old, but Georgia is still home for me. And I am way over the 70 mark!!!

          2. 🙂
            “You can take the girl/boy out of Texas, but can’t take the Texas out of the girl/boy.”
            You are a “Georgia Peach,” through and through. 🙂

  2. Justifiable suicide here. She was off her mediciation and sudenly realised she had sank so low as to be with a cop. Drugs can be so cruil to use. And drunk and druged would be the only reason she would be caught dead with a cop.

  3. How do you get residue on your left hand (and not your right hand) when shooting/being shot in the right temple?
    My only explanation is that the shooter is sitting close to you and has trapped your right hand between the bodies, so you grab at the gun/his hand with your left, to push / pull the gun away from your head.
    This is from Feb 2009 wonder what happened in the inquest?

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