DeAdrick Vance sentenced to 15 years in prison
JANESVILLE--The three children of DeAdrick Vance cried with arms around each other as their mother told the judge why their father is a good man.
Vance pleaded guilty in August to shooting Michael Hooker in the neck Feb. 1 inside Vance's home in the 2800 block Afton Road. Prosecutors called it a drug deal gone bad. Hooker was paralyzed after being shot but now is walking.
"My husband is a great man, a great father to all three of our children," Ami Vance said. "He is my rock, and now I'm his."
Judge Richard Werner told Vance that saying he made a bad decision is an “understatement” and his character is a “mixed bag.”
Werner ordered 15 years in prison, five years extended supervision followed by three years of probation for one count of first-degree recklessly endangering safety with a dangerous weapon and one count of possession of marijuana with intent to deliver.
“I need to protect the community,” Werner said. “There is no way I can condone the use of weapons in any type of crime … we are very lucky Mr. Hooker is here today and not dead … I have to look at a sentence that will not depreciate the seriousness of this crime.”
Before the defense and prosecution recommended sentences, several members of Vance's family shared memories of the defendant and called him a family man who would do anything for them.
“He is a wonderful dad who has always put his kids first,” Tammy Ziemer, Vance's sister-in-law, read from a prepared statement. “Family is his life, and we don't know how to function without each other.”
Debra Vance, Vance's mother, said she misses eating family dinners her son cooked and misses him fixing her car. She said her son regrets his actions.
“I know he feels horrible about what has happened,” Vance said. “He talks about it often and how bad he feels.”
Assistant District Attorney Mason Braunschweig said remorse isn't enough.
Hooker's life is changed forever because of Vance's actions, Braunschweig said.
Hooker's wedding was postponed, he's been in therapy, and he can't hold his 1-year-old daughter because of his injuries, Braunschweig said.
“If you take away the personal aspects … in a nutshell, what we have here is essentially a bad drug deal that ended in needless gun violence,” Braunschweig said.
He recommended Vance serve 15 years in prison, 10 years of extended supervision plus five years of probation.
Defense attorney Joshua Klaff said Vance did not expect to get away scot-free. Based on Vance's criminal record, work record and family life, Klaff recommended four years in prison with 13 years of extended supervision.
Vance, 34, addressed the courtroom and apologized to Hooker before the judge delivered his sentence.
“I just want to apologize to Mike and his family for what I put them through,” Vance said. “I'm not a bad person, I know I'm not a bad person. I made a terrible choice. I feel absolutely horrible for what happened.
"I know I have to accept responsibility for it.”