Shooting of teenager in Mayfair shopping center will be tried as an adult

A teenager who shot eight people at Mayfair Mall in 2020 should be tried as an adult, a split Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday.

The majority in the 4-3 ruling said juvenile court judge Brittany Grayson improperly exercised her discretion when she denied prosecutors’ request to commit the boy to adult court.

The Court of Appeal requested a rehearing of the matter, but the Supreme Court said it was not necessary.

“There is no reasonable basis to deny the state’s waiver request,” Chief Justice Annette Ziegler wrote. She was joined in the majority opinion by Justices Patience Roggensack, Rebecca Bradley and Jill Karofsky.

Justice Brian Hagedorn dissented, joined by Justices Ann Walsh Bradley and Rebecca Dallet.

“Although another judge could reasonably have come to a different conclusion on the same set of facts, that decision was within the discretion that the law grants to circuit court judges,” Hagedorn wrote.

“The majority, however, substitutes the discretion of the circuit court for its own, even if it pretends to meet the deferential standard of review that we are bound to apply.”

Milwaukee County Chief Judge Mary Triggiano said the current juvenile court judge handling the case will hold a hearing and formally waive it in adult court and set bail.

The district attorney’s office would then file a criminal complaint, and the teen would make a first court appearance on the adult charge and be assigned to a general crimes or firearms court judge.

Triggiano could not say how long the process would take.

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The case began in juvenile court, so the accused was only identified by a pseudonym, Xander. The boy, 15 at the time of the shooting, is charged with eight counts of first-degree reckless injury – punishable by up to 15 years in prison for adults – and being a minor with a firearm, a misdemeanor.

Prosecutors say he opened fire in the mall on November 20, 2020, injuring three people in a group he was confronting, a friend who was with him and four random shoppers.

Dozens of police responded and the mall was closed overnight.

Best Buy surveillance video showed Alex fleeing the mall and getting into an Uber. Investigators learned he was called by a number “associated” with the teenager’s father. He dropped Xander at home.

He was arrested two days later, in a car with Illinois license plates with a packed bag and the same Glock 9mm handgun used in the mall shooting.

Prosecutors requested a waiver in adult court. Grayson, after hearing from a social worker and a psychologist, determined that Alex should remain in juvenile court. Xander had already been found delinquent in another case and had not fully complied with his treatment.

Grayson, a former assistant district attorney from Milwaukee, was nominated to the bench in 2019 by Governor Tony Evers and elected to a six-year term in 2020.

The Court of Appeal reversed the decision and ordered a new hearing before another judge. Alex’s lawyers asked the Supreme Court to intervene first.

The majority in Wednesday’s decision go into detail about Alex’s youthful past, his breach of terms, the details of the mall shooting and his family’s efforts to help him escape from prison. stage. He also documented his failed attempt to leave the state.

He notes that an expert witness who testified at the waiver hearing for Xander seemed to ignore all of these negatives.

Ziegler wrote a separate concurring opinion to say that Grayson also failed to provide “sufficient reasoning” to support his decision. Rebecca Bradley and Roggensack also joined the deal, but Karofsky did not.

In his dissent, Hagedorn quoted at length from the waiver hearing transcript. He used it to argue that Grayson addressed the statutory criteria, even though his analysis “left something to be desired in both content and clarity”.

“The majority reasoning appears to be that any minor who commits a serious crime should be sent to adult court,” Hagedorn wrote. “This is contrary to the policy choice of the legislator reflected in the juvenile justice code; it is not what (the law) requires or authorizes.”

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Contact Bruce Vielmetti at (414) 224-2187 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at @ProofHearsay.

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