Eric Hainstock Teen Killer School Shooter

Eric Hainstock

Eric Hainstock was fifteen when he brought a gun to a Wisconsin school and shot his principal. According to court documents Eric Hainstock brought a shotgun and a revolver to the school and would shoot the principal three times causing his death. This teen killer would try to tell the jury the gun went off by accident however they were not buying it and he was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison

Eric Hainstock 2023 Information

Eric Hainstock
DOC #: 00516990
Birth Year: 1991
Age: 28
Height: 5′ 9″     Weight: 145
Hair Color: BROWN
Eye Color: BROWN
PhotoDate: 09/06/2019
Institution:  Oshkosh Correctional Institution

Eric Hainstock Other News

A state appeals court Thursday upheld the murder conviction of Weston High School shooter Eric Hainstock, ruling that he likely would have been convicted even if certain evidence had been withheld from the jury.

Hainstock’s attorney, Gregory Petit of Menasha, said Thursday he plans to file a petition to have the case reviewed by the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

“We will do so promptly,” Petit said Thursday.

Hainstock was 15 years old in 2006 when he shot Weston Principal John Klang during a struggle inside the school. A jury convicted Hainstock of first-degree intentional homicide in 2007.

Prior to the trial, Hainstock’s legal team asked that Sauk County Judge Patrick Taggart not allow the jury to hear statements Hainstock made to police in which he admitted to firing all three shots into Klang on purpose, and said he had been thinking about doing it for months.

But Taggart allowed the evidence, finding that there was no improper police conduct or coercion during the interrogation.

Hainstock appealed his conviction, arguing Taggart had applied the wrong legal standard in allowing the statements as evidence at trial.

The appeals court ruled Thursday that Taggart erred in his interpretation of what constitutes a voluntary confession. Prior court rulings have established that even by-the-book interrogations, or the manner in which a suspect is incarcerated, may be coercive if the suspect is “unusually susceptible to pressure.”

However, the appeals court found the judge’s error was harmless because even if Hainstock’s statement to police had been suppressed, a reasonable jury still would have found him guilty for the following reasons:

• Two classmates testified Hainstock had said Klang wouldn’t live through Homecoming.

• Hainstock testified he brought two loaded guns to school with additional ammunition.

• Hainstock said he was there to “kill someone” when he entered the school, a maintenance worker testified.

• A teacher witnessed Hainstock pointing a gun at Klang’s head as the principal tried to calm him.

• Three wounds from three shots contributed to Klang’s death.

• Hainstock testified the handgun he used needed to be cocked.

• Hainstock testified that at least one of his shots was on purpose.

That evidence was inconsistent with the defense’s theory that Hainstock wanted only to scare someone into listening to his complaints and that the gun went off accidentally, the appellate court ruled.

Hainstock’s attorney also argued that his previous attorney did not represent him properly because the attorney did not try to get the Sauk County trial moved elsewhere. The prior attorney also should have moved to strike or make further inquiries of a juror who apparently had a business relationship with Klang’s brother, the appeal argued.

But the court ruled Thursday that those issues “involved too many unresolved factual elements for this court to review for the first time on appeal.”

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Eric Hainstock is currently incarcerated at the Oshkosh Correctional Institute

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Eric Hainstock is serving life
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