Accused gang shooter to stand trial

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March 1, 2008
— The teen-ager who was wounded in the parking lot of the Janesville YMCA on Jan. 19 said he didn’t realize at first that he had been shot.

Darrell Jackson, 18, said the gunshots sounded more like a BB gun. He said he and others ran to their cars and drove off after the shots were fired.

Two 16-year-old boys that police say are members of a street gang are accused of firing the gunshots.

Jackson testified Friday at the preliminary hearing of Andrew D. Moronez, 16, of 1042 Center Ave., Janesville.

Moronez is accused of being one of two shooters in the incident. He was bound over for trial and is expected to enter a plea at a hearing set for 4 p.m. Tuesday.

Jackson said his first clue he had been shot was when he saw a hole in his pants after he returned to a residence.

“I looked at it and—a hole through my leg,” which wasn’t bleeding much, he said.

He found two holes a few inches below his knee—apparently the entry and exit wounds.

A Janesville police officer later testified that he found a bullet in the flat tire of one of the cars, and he found a hole in the wheel well of the other car. Jackson said he couldn’t remember how many shots were fired, but he said there weren’t many.

Jackson went to Mercy Hospital, where the wound was cleaned and bandaged, and he was given a pain medication.

It was at Mercy that he was told he had been shot, he said.

Jackson rolled up his pants Friday to show the court his wounds. He did not appear to be limping.

A second 16-year-old accused of firing a gun that night is Gregory P. Krukar, 16, of 230 N. Grant St., Janesville. Krukar and Moronez have been waived into adult court and both appeared in jail jumpsuits with their ankles chained together.

The two boys are charged with three counts of first-degree reckless endangerment involving a weapon and one count each of endangering safety by reckless use of a firearm and possession of a dangerous weapon by a person younger than 18.

Krukar’s preliminary hearing was scheduled for Friday but was postponed to 4 p.m. Thursday.

Krukar declined to testify at Moronez’s hearing, citing his Fifth Amendment right.

Jackson said he had gone with a friend to meet someone at the YMCA lot. The other person had previously had an “altercation” with his friend.

Police have said the dispute appears to have been over a girl.

Three males and three females came with them, in two cars, Jackson said.

The group was standing outside the cars in the lot when another group of perhaps six arrived and stood on the sidewalk, about 100 feet away, Jackson said.

That’s when he heard the shots, and everyone ran for the cars.

Police have said the second group were members of a street gang. Assistant District Attorney Jodi Bollendorf asked Jackson if any of them were wearing bandanas. He said he didn’t notice.

Bollendorf did not produce any witnesses who saw Moronez fire a gun, defense attorney Betsy Givhan noted.

Givhan argued that the evidence was not enough to justify binding her client over for trial.

But Bollendorf questioned Janesville police officers who had interviewed eyewitnesses.

Officer Brian Foster said Krukar told him that Krukar had fired with ammunition he got from Moronez and that Moronez also fired.

Police detective Dennis LeCaptain said he interviewed another witness, who knew Moronez only by his nickname, “Trouble.”

The witness said he was not sure who fired the shots, but he heard others talking later and indicating the shooters were Krukar and “Trouble.”

Givhan objected to this testimony as hearsay, but Meyer overruled.

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