Former piano child prodigy jailed for beating roommate to death

Former child piano prodigy Garrick Harold Olsen has been sentenced to prison for 17 years for beating his former roommate to death.

The ruling was handed down by Milwaukee Circuit Court Judge Jeffrey Wagner on Wednesday. The 27-year-old will serve the time in Wisconsin State Prison followed by eight years of supervised release, according to Law & Crime.

Court records state that Olsen killed Michael Sieg, 34, in March 2020.

In July, Olsen pleaded guilty to second-degree reckless homicide and use of a dangerous weapon.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported in the spring of 2020 that police officers responded to a 911 call at 8.13am on 26 March of that year concerning an injured man at a home on North Buffum Street in Harambee.

Police found a man at the back of the home on the ground with indications of major trauma to his head.

When police knocked on the door of the home, Olsen, then 24, opened it. His shoes and socks were reported to be stained with blood. He told police that he had spilt pasta sauce on himself while cooking the night before.

When asked about the man on the ground, Olsen suggested he had overdosed. But when officers went into the residence, they found blood stains in other areas and it seemed as if someone had been attempting to clean it up.

When speaking to investigators, Olsen’s girlfriend said he had called her at around 1am, saying that he had beat Mr Sieg to death. She revealed a photo to the authorities, showing Mr Sieg’s body as well as a text message from Olsen stating he “beat the brakes off this guy,” The Sentinel reported.

The Milwaukee County Medical Examiner’s Office performed an autopsy, finding that Mr Sieg died of blunt force trauma to the head, chest, stomach and back, in addition to several cuts to the liver.

Police discovered that Olsen and Mr Sieg had been roommates at the residence and that Olsen had beaten Mr Sieg following an evening of heavy drinking.

At first, Olsen was charged with first-degree reckless homicide, which was downgraded following a deal between Olsen’s lawyer and prosecutors.

According to The Sentinel, Olsen has been listed as being 6’5’ (196cm) and 270 pounds (122kg). According to Mr Sieg’s aunt, her nephew was 160 pounds when he died.

Olsen pleaded guilty earlier this year to two other felonies following an altercation in July last year when he was detained at the Milwaukee County Jail.

A criminal complaint states that Olsen “attacked another man in a cell after he would only share one of two sodas with Olsen,” according to The Sentinel.

That man, who was listed as 5’7’ (170cm) and 130 pounds (59kg), was sent to hospital with several broken ribs and a swollen eye.

Records show that Judge Wagner sentenced Olsen to another four years for strangulation by suffocation and battery by a prisoner, Law & Crime reported.