From left: Anthony Harris II, Demarco Hudson, Markeith Wilson, Augustine Sanchez.

Four defendants bound over for trial

By Jason Arndt
Editor

Despite objections by their attorneys, four Racine men accused in the Nov. 15 shooting death of Joseph Riley were bound over for trial, which will be before Kenosha County Circuit Court Judge Jason Rossell.

Kenosha County Commissioner Loren Keating, who listened to arguments at a Nov. 30 preliminary hearing, believes prosecutors demonstrated probable cause a felony was committed.

“I do find that the state has demonstrated probable cause felonies were committed,” Keating said, noting the defendants likely committed at least one of the felonies they have been charged with.

Anthony L. Harris, 23, Demarco Hudson, 18, Augustine J. Sanchez, 20, and Markeith Wilson, 18 – all held on $1 million cash bonds – are charged with multiple felonies in addition to first-degree intentional homicide.

The four, according to their criminal complaints, are also charged with attempted first-degree intentional homicide of a Twin Lakes woman, conspiracy to commit armed robbery, and armed burglary. They are also charged with two counts of first-degree recklessly endangering safety.

They are accused of storming into Riley’s home with guns drawn and shooting Riley and the Twin Lakes woman, whose name has not been released.

Keating’s decision comes after he heard testimony from Kenosha County Sheriff’s investigator Troy Barnett.

Defendants wanted cash
Barnett testified the four planned to rob Riley of cash and marijuana.

Harris, according to a complaint, told investigators Sanchez and Wilson were the masterminds of the home invasion and learned about Riley through a girl they knew on Facebook.

“Defendant Harris said that they heard that the victim would have marijuana and cash and would be ‘soft,’” the complaint states.

The initial plan was to rob Riley on Nov. 14, according to Barnett’s testimony, indicating they paid a visit to his home in the 31500 block of 71st Street in Wheatland.

When they arrived, however, Harris told investigators he, Wilson and another man knocked on Riley’s door, but the Wheatland resident refused to open it.

The next day, Harris said, they decided to carry out the robbery, first meeting at Sanchez’s home in Racine with Wilson and Hudson to smoke marijuana and organize the home invasion.

As part of the plan, Sanchez borrowed his girlfriend’s black sedan, which he used to drive the three others to Riley’s home.

When they arrived before 10:27 p.m., according to the complaint, Sanchez parked the sedan and remained in the vehicle while the other three broke into the home armed with handguns.

Forced entry
Barnett, through an interview with a witness, testified three of the four defendants approached the home and forced entry by kicking open the front door.

As the witness entered the living room, according to the complaint, he saw three men holding firearms.

The complaint contends Harris told investigators Wilson immediately sought out the victim. Riley, who had 9-millimeter handgun on his coffee table because of a previous robbery, picked up the gun and started firing in self-defense. Bullets struck Wilson and Hudson, the complaint states.

Wilson, injured by the gunfire, said he stopped shooting because he was in pain and allegedly saw Harris open fire at Riley and the other woman.

In total, according to the complaint, Riley was struck four times by bullets, including one fatal, and the Twin Lakes woman suffered nine bullet wounds.

“She had been informed by her doctors that her lung, liver, stomach, kidney, pancreas, colon and diaphragm were all affected by gunshot wounds,” the complaint states.

Since Hudson and Wilson had been injured, the three retreated to the vehicle driven by Sanchez, who drove them away from the scene.

As they left the scene, Sanchez stopped at a nearby ditch, where he instructed the three other suspects to dispose of their firearms, the complaint states.

Harris, according to the complaint, told detectives he and Sanchez decided to pin the blame on Hudson and Wilson.

Sanchez stopped at the McDonald’s and BP gas station on Highway 50 in Paddock Lake, where Hudson and Wilson left the vehicle.

The two injured suspects were then picked up by authorities and transported to area hospitals for treatment. They were then arrested.

Distancing themselves
At the crowded preliminary hearing, where the four defendants were packed inside the small intake courtroom, each of their defense attorneys attempted to distance their clients from the bullets.

Additionally, their attorneys objected to binding their clients over, offering differing arguments.

Kenosha County District Attorney Michael Graveley, however, indicated Friday’s proceeding is for probable cause on any felony.

“The court is here to bind over on a felony, and the counselors made arguments about a specific felony, and there are number of felonies,” Graveley.

Keating agreed, adding the four are accused of being parties to a crime.

Each of the four defendants are set for arraignments on Jan. 16.

 
 

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