Prosecutors dismiss attempted murder charge in Countryside Inn shooting
JANESVILLE—Rock County prosecutors dismissed an attempted murder charge against a Madison man after witnesses changed their stories about a shooting outside a town of Milton tavern last June.
Trevonne L. McClarn, 22, was, however, convicted of intimidating a witness in the case.
Judge James Daley sentenced McClarn to five years of probation in Rock County Court last week.
McClarn was arrested on a charge of attempted first-degree murder in the shooting of a Fitchburg man as a dance party broke up outside the Countryside Inn on June 22.
The victim suffered three gunshot wounds to his torso, police reported.
At McClarn's preliminary hearing in July, his public defender argued that witnesses' descriptions of the shooter did not match the clothes McClarn wore that night, and no weapon, shell casings or bullet had been recovered.
McClarn nevertheless was bound over for trial, facing up to 71 years in prison.
A trial was scheduled for March 17, but two witnesses, including the victim, who apparently knew McClarn, reversed their statements about who did the shooting several times, making it impossible to gain a conviction, said Deputy District Attorney Perry Folts.
A third witness simply did not show up despite a subpoena.
Folts admitted frustration over the case.
“That's what happens when people aren't cooperative,” Folts said.
McClarn pleaded guilty to the intimidation charge, stemming from an incident at the Rock County Jail involving one of the witnesses to the shooting.
In that case, the prosecution had jail video to back up the victim's story, Folts said.
The sheriff's department believes a second shooting occurred at a Countryside Inn dance party Jan. 26, when a 28-year-old Madison man reported a gunshot wound to his leg. No one has been arrested in that case.
The Milton Town Board in February suspended the tavern's liquor license for 60 days, citing the shootings and other disorderly activity that police said were associated with dance parties held there.