EMPIRE (CBS13) – A Stanislaus County man who was arrested on suspicion of murder over a lottery ticket and then released has been re-arrested after investigators say they found new evidence in the killing.
Michael Roger Bruce, 56, of Empire, was booked into jail on November 15 on charges of murder, and possession of a firearm by a person with a prior felony conviction, according to a statement from the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department.
Charges stem from an incident when Bruce allegedly shot Roy Dale Ensey four times with a shotgun. Bruce was previously arrested in connection with that homicide, but was released after the district attorney’s office says there was a lack of evidence at the time. He was then re-arrested after additional witnesses came forward.
A sheriff’s spokesperson says Bruce killed Ensey after Ensey and another man went to Bruce’s home on October 21 and demanded a $20,000 winning lottery ticket that Bruce was bragging about, according to witnesses.
When Bruce refused to hand over the ticket, Ensey allegedly set Bruce’s truck on fire and that’s when Bruce shot him. Ensey’s body was found the next day, Ensey’s body was found along the Tuolumne River.
The ticket turned out not to be a winner.