A teen charged in a marijuana-related robbery attempt that turned into a shooting in Clinton last winter pleaded guilty to a reduced charge Tuesday in Rock County Court.
Jared A. Mikkelson, 19, of 5609 W. Plymouth Church Road, Beloit, was one of three people who, in the words of Assistant District Attorney Jerry Urbik, “brought a can of pepper spray to a gunfight” on Feb. 18.
Mikkelson originally was charged with party to armed robbery by use of force. He pleaded guilty Tuesday to attempted theft from a person, a felony.
He also pleaded no contest to two misdemeanors: disorderly conduct and party to misdemeanor theft.
As part of a plea agreement, the attorneys recommended Mikkelson be sentenced on the misdemeanors to two years of probation.
The lawyers asked that the felony charge remain hanging over Mikkelson’s head. If he commits another crime or violates the rules of probation, he could be sentenced to prison.
If he does as he is told for two years, the felony charge will disappear.
Urbik said the incident showed “horrendous” decision-making with great potential for tragic violence, but he noted Mikkelson had no previous criminal record and had cooperated with authorities.
Defense attorney Richard McCue said Mikkelson has decided to stop using marijuana and has produced a series of voluntary, clean drug screens since the incident.
Mikkelson said he is ready to change his life and become more productive.
Judge Barbara McCrory agreed to the plea agreement. She said Mikkelson would get help with rehabilitation during probation, probably including more urine tests.
In the incident, Mikkelson and two others—Taylor R. Lantz, 19, of 4325 N. River Road, Janesville, and Jerry F. Williams, 21, of 2224 Frontier Road, Janesville—drove to Clinton to meet Jesus Rangel-Silva, 19, of 727 Milwaukee Road, No. 14, Clinton, according to the criminal complaint.
The trio had arranged to buy a pound of marijuana from Rangel-Silva, but their intention was to rob him, according to Mikkelson’s statement to investigators.
The meeting in a parking area quickly turned into a physical fight, when Lantz sprayed Rangel-Silva with pepper spray and Rangel-Silva shot her in the shoulder and then shot at the car as the three drove away, the complaint indicates.
Rangel-Silva originally was charged with attempted first-degree intentional homicide and related charges, but in a plea agreement, he pleaded guilty to second-degree recklessly endangering safety. He is scheduled to be sentenced Wednesday.
Williams and Lantz also were charged with party to armed robbery by use of force.
Williams has pleaded not guilty. Lantz is scheduled to enter a plea and be sentenced Friday.