The argument preceding a fatal shooting Sunday started because a birthday party had run out of alcohol, according to a criminal complaint filed Wednesday in Rock County Court.
Prosecutors charged Corvasie S. Weaver, 24, with first-degree reckless homicide—notably not first-degree intentional homicide, a class A felony that requires life in prison or under supervision.
A conviction of first-degree reckless homicide would yield a sentence no longer than 60 years.
The difference in the two charges, as the names suggest, comes down to intent. Reckless homicide means prosecutors believe Weaver “did recklessly cause the death of” James C. Chestnut III, 40, while showing “utter disregard for human life,” according to the complaint. Prosecutors are able to amend charges in the future.
Along with the complaint, officials also Wednesday filed an arrest warrant for Weaver. A Rock County Jail official confirmed Wednesday afternoon that Weaver was not at the jail.
Janesville police responded to Racine and Cherry streets on Sunday for a report of a person with a gunshot wound near the intersection, according to the complaint. Another caller reported hearing eight or nine gunshots—and police later found 8-10 shell casings in front of 613 W. Racine St.
When police got to the scene and saw Chestnut’s body, they had to “physically remove” a woman from on top of him, the complaint states.
An officer could feel a faint pulse, so they performed CPR before Chestnut was taken to Mercyhealth Hospital and Trauma Center, where he died, according to the complaint. An autopsy showed a bullet went through Chestnut’s lung and through the right atrium of his heart.
When police went into 613 W. Racine St., an officer said there was “a lot of chaos with of (sic) yelling and arguing,” the complaint states.
An officer overheard one person inside say, “Think about it. You all know who killed him,” and then “Man Man,” which is a street name for Weaver, according to the complaint.
Police spoke to Chestnut’s girlfriend, who said she had invited him to a birthday party at the home, the complaint states. Janesville police have said she is also related to Weaver.
A witness told police a fight started when the party ran out of alcohol, according to the complaint.
Police pieced together witness accounts, which said the fight spilled out of the home and into the street, where Weaver shot Chestnut, according to the complaint.
The complaint lists Weaver’s address as 613 W. Racine St., but police have said his last known residence was in Joliet, Illinois.