Man found guilty of attempted homicide in Downtown shooting

July 21, 2018

A man who prosecutors said shot nearly 10 times into a car that he thought contained a member of a rival gang was found guilty Friday of attempted first-degree intentional homicide.

Darrick R. Thompson, 23, of Madison, was also found guilty of first-degree reckless endangerment for the Feb. 6 shooting that happened along West Washington Avenue and left a man with serious gunshot wounds. The jury deliberated for about an hour before reaching its verdict.

Thompson will be sentenced in about two months. He faces up to 60 years of combined prison and extended supervision for the attempted homicide conviction and up to 17½ years for the reckless endangerment conviction.

The verdicts ended a week-long trial that included testimony by two co-defendants of Thompson and a man who was originally a co-defendant until charges against him were dismissed early in the case.

Thompson’s lawyer, Daryl Jensen, told jurors in his closing argument that the prosecution’s case rested entirely on the co-defendants, who each had several criminal convictions and stood to benefit from appeasing prosecutors.

Reluctant witnesses

But Assistant District Attorney Dan Hess said none of the co-defendants especially wanted to testify and that doing so benefited them little. Xavier Davis, 23, of Madison, who had rejected a plea agreement on Monday, reconsidered on Wednesday and pleaded guilty to first-degree reckless injury before testifying, in a deal in which prosecutors will seek no more than eight years in prison when he is sentenced in about two months.

Jawaun Greer, 17, also rejected a plea agreement on Monday and is scheduled for a trial in August.

District Attorney Ismael Ozanne told jurors that a car containing Thompson, Greer, Davis and Roberto M. Rodriguez-Sostre, 22, of Madison, who are all members of the Mickey Cobras gang, followed Michael Coleman from the South Side to the 700 block of West Washington Avenue, believing him to be a rival Black Disciple. Ozanne said investigators found no evidence that Coleman, 33, was a gang member.

Ozanne said that Thompson left the car, walked over toward Coleman’s car and began firing, getting closer as he fired shots. A woman who was with Coleman, Ozanne said, somehow escaped unhurt. The shooting stopped when the gun jammed, Ozanne said, probably saving Coleman’s life.

Later, Greer and Rodriguez-Sostre told police that Thompson had fired the gun at Coleman’s car. Davis testified that he drove the car to and from the shooting scene.

Jensen contended that Rodriguez-Sostre had done the shooting, and provided testimony Friday by a woman who said that on Feb. 16, Rodriguez-Sostre showed her the place where he shot Coleman. But prosecutors countered that she couldn’t have been given information about Coleman’s injuries, as she had claimed, because no information about them had been released to the public until a criminal complaint was issued on March 8.

Ozanne argued that nobody, not even Thompson, would have been able to see where Coleman was hit because the windows on Coleman’s car were so darkly tinted.

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