A Milwaukee man pleaded not guilty on Friday to a charge he recklessly caused the death of a man in his car who was shot by a Walworth County sheriff’s deputy in 2016, court records show.
Jose G. Lara, 32, was the driver in a drug deal that local police had been monitoring Feb. 24, 2016, according to criminal complaints. As Lara drove away from Roma’s Ristorante and Lounge in East Troy, Deputy Juan Ortiz fired his gun at the car, killing the passenger, Christopher J. Davis, 21, also of Milwaukee.
Then-District Attorney Dan Necci wrote in July 2016 that Ortiz feared for his life as the car drove toward him and was justified in using deadly force.
Lara already had drug and fleeing charges from the incident he had pleaded not guilty to, but almost two years after the shooting, prosecutors filed a charge of second-degree reckless homicide. Lara pleaded not guilty to the new charge Friday at an arraignment hearing.
Lara is next due in court at 1:15 p.m. June 1 for a status conference.