Public defenders Carl Johnson, left, and Kristyne Watson represents Andrew Obregon, center, at a Jan. 26 jury status hearing in Kenosha County Circuit Court. Obregon received a life sentence Tuesday for a string of crimes committed in 2015.

Crime spree in fall of 2015 leads to long-term sentence

By Jason Arndt
Editor

The last page in the Andrew Obregon saga finally turned inside the Kenosha County Courthouse Tuesday morning.

Obregon, 34, of Bristol received a life sentence without an opportunity to return to the streets, including the communities of Western Kenosha and Racine counties, where he eluded authorities for 22 days in 2015 before his arrest in Lake County, Ill.

In January, Obregon pleaded guilty to six of his 28 felony charges as part of an agreement with Kenosha County prosecutors.

Obregon was convicted of first-degree intentional homicide with a dangerous weapon in Tywon Anderson’s death, which occurred in September of 2015, when authorities discovered his remains in a Town of Paris cornfield.

Additionally, Obregon pleaded guilty to first-degree attempted intentional homicide with a dangerous weapon stemming from an Oct. 13 incident where he beat a Brighton woman at her home in a last attempt to avoid prosecution.

Along with those charges, Obregon also pleaded guilty to one count of felony armed robbery and three counts of fleeing/eluding an officer.

Kenosha County District Attorney Michael Graveley believes Obregon’s sentencing brings closure to residents in both counties.

“It took away their peace of mind,” Graveley said.

“I am just relieved that we were able to get what I consider justice in this case. To me, this was a once in a generation crime spree and the sentence reflected the impact it had in Western Kenosha County.”

Originally, if convicted of all charges, Obregon faced life in prison plus 435 years for allegedly stealing multiple vehicles, robbing two convenience stores and leading authorities on high-speed chases.

According to the criminal complaint filed in Kenosha County Circuit Court, Obregon was also accused of driving into cornfields in an attempt to elude authorities.

Sentencing apprehension
Although Obregon took a plea bargain in January, he was reportedly apprehensive in Circuit Court Judge Chad Kerkman’s courtroom Tuesday, when his public defenders requested adjournment to give the 34-year-old to reconsider the agreement.

However, Kerkman rejected the request, Graveley said.

“We began the sentencing hearing today with the defense attorney Carl Johnson indicating that Obregon requested adjournment,” Graveley said. “That adjournment indicated he wanted to file a motion (to reconsider).”

But, with about three months since the Jan. 28 plea bargain, Obregon had time to reconsider and file a motion.

“He did not file a motion, it wasn’t timely,” Graveley said. “It has been almost three months to consider that if they wanted to withdraw that plea.”

Stunning plea agreement
A day after Obregon appeared for a jury status hearing on Jan. 26, when court officials received instructions leading up to the trial the following week, the 34-year-old reportedly approached Graveley about a plea agreement.

“Literally, the last business day before the trial, the defense approached me and said he was willing to plea to the most serious charges in this case,” Graveley said.

The willingness, according to Sheriff David Beth, was stunning.

“This was a complete shock to us, we didn’t know this was going to happen,” Beth said at a Jan. 27 news conference.

Entering the trial, the Kenosha County District Attorneys Office compiled a list of more than 100 witnesses to testify, with the trial expected to last at least a few weeks, Beth stated.

“It would cost tens of thousands of dollars to try this,” Beth said at the Jan. 27 news conference.

The apprehension
On Oct. 13, 2015, a Brighton woman arrived at her home to find Obregon, who eventually beat her and stole her vehicle equipped with OnStar, a satellite communications service.

After she called for help, Kenosha County authorities responded and located Obregon heading southbound on Highway 45, where a high-speed pursuit that stretched into to Lake County, Ill., began.

When Obregon crossed the state line, Lake County authorities took over the pursuit as he headed east towards Zion, where police had requested OnStar to disable the vehicle.

From there, Obregon fled on foot for about a mile until a Zion Police dog took him down during a struggle that left him with a gunshot wound to the right shoulder.

Restitution request
While Obregon received a life sentence, he also was ordered to pay restitution in Tuesday’s hearing, Graveley said.

“There are some costs associated with our victims that the state crime victim compensation board covered,” he said. “The state crime victim compensation board is asking for more than $2,000 for money paid out to the victims.”

Also, Obregon is required to repay expenses of at least $240 for his extradition to Wisconsin from Illinois.

 
 

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