Attorney: Vance’s gun went off accidentally in Janesville shooting
JANESVILLE DeAdrick Vance helped an injured friend put pressure on his wound, called 911 and ran to the road to wave first responders into his driveway, his attorney said Monday in court.
Those are not the actions of a man who was trying to kill someone, defense attorney Josh Klaff said.
Vance, 34, of 2807 Afton Road, Janesville, is charged with attempted first-degree intentional homicide, delivering marijuana, maintaining a drug-trafficking place and possession of drug paraphernalia. He is accused of shooting a friend, Michael Hooker, 27, rural Beloit, on Feb. 1 at Vance’s home.
Klaff argued to drop all the charges, but Court Commissioner Stephen Meyer found probable cause to bind over Vance for trial.
According to testimony in court Monday, Vance told police his wife woke him from a nap when Hooker and another friend came in. He said he reached down to pick up his gun from a coffee table in front of him, and the gun accidentally went off, Janesville police Detective Dennis LeCaptain testified.
Vance said he got a towel and held it on the wound on Hooker’s jaw line, LeCaptain said.
Vance said the gun had been on the coffee table for a couple days, LeCaptain said. Normally, it was kept on a table behind the couch, he said.
“He keeps it handy for home protection,” LeCaptain said.
Hooker’s story and the story of another friend are different, LeCaptain said.
Hooker said he stopped at Vance’s house to pay him for marijuana he got a couple weeks before the shooting, LeCaptain said.
Hooker said the gun was not on the coffee table when he got to the house. Vance was angry that the payment was late, LeCaptain said.
Hooker said, “It won’t happen again,” and Vance replied something to the effect of, “You’re right, it won’t,” LeCaptain said.
Hooker was surprised when Vance shot him, LeCaptain said.
Hooker was paralyzed after the shot. The bullet grazed a vertebra on its way out of Hooker’s neck, LeCaptain said. Hooker has since been released from Mercy Hospital and Trauma Center, Janesville.
While Hooker watched, Vance picked up drug paraphernalia from the living room. He got a towel, put it in Hooker’s hand and pushed Hooker’s hand up to the wound. He told Hooker to put pressure on the wound, LeCaptain said.
The friend that went to Vance’s with Hooker said he was watching the movie “Titanic” on television and half-listening to Vance and Hooker argue. He heard a bang and turned to see Vance lowering his arm to his side. The man ran outside and called 911, LeCaptain said.
Vance’s wife also called 911.
Vance called 911 four or five minutes after the friend, LeCaptain said.
Investigators found about three ounces of marijuana in the home as well as a scale and other drug paraphernalia, Janesville police officer Drew Severson said.
If convicted, Vance faces up to 70 years in prison. Vance is in custody at the Rock County Jail on a $100,000 cash bond. A Wednesday hearing is scheduled to argue the bond, according to online court documents.