01STOCK_GAVEL

JANESVILLE

One of two Beloit men who shot at each other at a strip club in 2020 received 30 months of probation in Rock County Court on Wednesday.

The second man is also on probation, and their dispute remains unresolved, according to statements made in court Wednesday.

Damont D. Green, 28, of 1909 House St., pleaded guilty Wednesday to first-degree reckless injury and recklessly endangering safety.

Four other people were hit when the two men exchanged gunfire June 24 at the Blu Astor Cabaret strip club in the town of Rock.

As part of a plea agreement, charges of attempted first-degree intentional homicide and several counts of first-degree reckless injury and first-degree recklessly endangering safety were dismissed.

Green said Jaquczeas A. Wiggins, 24, of 410 E. Grand Ave., hit him inside the club, and Green didn’t pull his gun.

Green already had a gun, and Wiggins went to the parking lot to retrieve his, and the two confronted each other in the club’s entryway, firing at each other, according to the criminal complaint.

Both Green and Wiggins said they were defending themselves. Twenty days earlier, Wiggins had shot at Green and hit the car Green was driving in Beloit, according to an affidavit Green filed.

A court-ordered mental health assessment found Green suffered from PTSD from the earlier incident.

“Only the quick work of a Beloit police officer saved his life, frankly,” defense attorney Michael Murphy said of the earlier incident.

Green still feels endangered because of the ongoing feud with Wiggins, who also is serving probation and is still “on the street,” Murphy said.

“Beloit is a small town, and he can’t protect himself because he can’t possess a firearm,” Murphy added.

Murphy said Green has been “relatively crime-free despite growing up on the tough streets of Beloit.”

When asked if he had anything to add, Green said he is sorry that innocent people were hurt, but he feels that taking away his gun rights is “weird” because he had to defend himself or die.

McCrory said she understood Green’s concern, but, “The idea of street justice is causing too many problems, in my estimation. … Doing what you did is also putting other people at risk, people that weren’t part of that fight.”

McCrory noted that Wiggins also is prohibited from carrying a firearm.

McCrory said she accepted the plea agreement because of Green’s limited criminal history, that he successfully completed probation in a previous case and that the best way to work on his PTSD would be outside of prison.

Wiggins was sentenced in April to five years’ probation and time served in jail on two counts of second-degree reckless injury. More serious charges were dismissed.

“Thank goodness more people weren’t seriously injured, or worse, killed,” Assistant District Attorney Alex Goulart said of the shooting.

Goulart noted that Green has good reason to get PTSD treatment and follow the rules of probation because if his probation is revoked, the state will argue for a prison sentence.

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