Janesville man to stand trial in shooting incident

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Chris Flood
Saturday, April 14, 2012
— A Janesville man accused of firing a gun at a witness in a drug case will proceed toward trial after a court appearance Friday.

Demetrius L. Cooper, 31, pleaded not guilty to four felony charges filed after gunshots were fired outside a police informant’s home in western Waukesha County.

Cooper is charged with two counts of attempted first-degree intentional homicide, endangering safety by reckless use of firearm and intimidation of a witness after the Nov. 11 incident where a man reported another man was near his property and firing several shots toward his home.

Authorities alleged that Cooper tried to kill a key witness and police informant who testified against him in a prior drug case in Rock County.

The homeowner told authorities he was a Janesville police informant and a key witness in a Rock County drug case against Cooper. In that case, Cooper was charged with several counts of delivering heroin, keeping a drug house and bail jumping, the last count arising from an alleged violation of his bail on a prior substantial battery case, online court records show. Those cases are ongoing in Rock County.

The informant and Romaine Isby, an acquaintance of Cooper’s, testified Friday. Isby previously told police Cooper was stressed about his drug case and he wanted to kill the person testifying against him in that case—the informant, according to the criminal complaint.

On Nov. 11, the informant noticed someone standing beside a tree near his driveway. He told police the person fired multiple shots, causing him to lead his wife into their home, and the shooter fled, according to the complaint.

Police found three .45-caliber shell casings in the grass, a broken window and a broken window frame when they arrived. Cooper was tracked down in part because of the rented car he drove to Waukesha County, according to the complaint.

The defense on Friday presented no testimony on Cooper’s behalf. Court Commissioner Thomas Pieper found probable cause to believe that a felony was committed and that Cooper probably did it and bound Cooper over for trial.

Cooper remains in custody on a $250,000 cash bond. If convicted, Cooper faces a maximum sentence of 140 years in prison and $50,000 in fines.

Last updated: 8:09 pm Thursday, December 13, 2012

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