MILWAUKEE — 20-year-old Sarah Zakzesky, one of three people criminally charged in connection with the fatal beating of Delvin Mendoza-Chaparro, waived her right to a preliminary hearing on Thursday, December 29th — and then pleaded not guilty.
Zakzesky faces one count of first degree reckless homicide as party to a crime. She made her initial appearance in court on December 22nd. Probable cause was found for further proceedings in this case.
Cash bond was set at $50,000.
The accusations in this case are that Delvin Mendoza-Chaparro was brutally beaten, and video was recorded and posted to his own Snapchat account.
The beating happened after Mendoza-Chaparro allegedly attempted to steal a bong, a pipe and other items from a home near 6th and Rogers. He was struck in the face and then kicked multiple times for a period of 10-15 minutes on December 19th. He was also allegedly urinated on, and forced to eat from a kitty litter box. He was then dumped in an alley — left for dead.
An autopsy revealed Mendoza-Chaparro died of multiple blunt force injuries to the head.
Four people total were arrested in this case. Three have been charged.
Devin Katzfey faces one count of first degree reckless homicide as party to a crime. Devin Katzfey’s brother, 19-year-old Branden Katzfey faces one count of first degree reckless homicide as party to a crime.
Devin Katzfey was in court for his initial appearance on Tuesday, December 27th — after he was taken into custody on Monday. Probable cause was found for further proceedings in this case. A preliminary hearing was scheduled for January 4th. Cash bond was set at $200,000.
Branden Katzfey was in court for his initial appearance on Saturday, December 24th. Probable cause was found for further proceedings in this case. A preliminary hearing was scheduled for December 30th. Cash bond was set at $10,000.
According to a criminal complaint, Sarah Zakzesky told police the beating started after a night of smoking marijuana at her apartment. Devin Katzfey accused Mendoza-Chaparro of attempting to steal a bong, pipe and other items.
Devin Katfey is accused of hitting the victim in the face and head 25 times. His brother, 19-year-old Branden Katzfey, was also present. Zakzesky says she saw him also strike the victim in the face multiple times.
A criminal complaint filed against Branden Katzfey indicates he told investigators he punched Mendoza-Chaparro after noticing Mendoza-Chaparro had taken his phone. Branden Katzfey said he punched Mendoza-Chaparro three times and kicked him once.
Branden Katzfey admitted to investigators he “urinated on (Mendoza-Chaparro) while he lay near a kitty litter box,” and his brother Devin “forced (Mendoza-Chaparro) to eat cat litter and feces from the litter box.”Branden Katzfey told investigators his brother, Devin “was the primary aggressor,” but said Zakzesky also took part in the beating. Branden Katzfey said at one point, when Mendoza-Chaparro tried to stand up, Zakzesky “smashed his head into a counter.”
Branden Katzfey said he didn’t call police “because he was scared and because, at the time, he thought (Mendoza-Chaparro) deserved it because he was stealing from them.”
The complaint indicates investigators took a look at Mendoza-Chaparro’s Snapchat account, and found three videos recorded and uploaded to that account.
The first video showed a close-up of Mendoza-Chaparro’s face, showing he’d been badly battered. He was lying on his back on a floor. Mendoza-Chaparro, while severely injured, still appeared to be alive. A voice is heard in the video saying: “You got knocked the (expletive) out (expletive). Don’t ever come and steal. You know who this is. This is Superman.” The individual identifying himself as Superman showed his tattooed fist.
The second video showed Mendoza-Chaparro lying near a doorway in an apartment. He was seen clearly badly beaten with blood coming from his face and mouth. A voice is heard in the video saying: “This is what happens when you fight an (expletive) like me.” The person recording the video was then seen turning the video to show himself, and he says: “You hear me? That’s what happens when you steal.”
The third video again showed Mendoza-Chaparro, clearly injured and battered. When he attempted to get up, he was seen kicked to the ground by “Superman.”
Investigators compared these videos with a booking photo of Devin Katzfey. It was determined that the individual claiming to be “Superman” in the Snapchat videos was Katzfey.
Investigators looked into Katzfey’s Facebook account and determined he has an associated Instagram account under the name “Superman.”
The complaint indicates Zakzesky said the night before Mendoza-Chaparro’s death, she was in her apartment with her roommate and Katzfey — who she identified via photo array — along with Katzfey’s brother. Zakzesky said they smoked marijuana and then Mendoza-Chaparro indicated he was going to come over. Zakzesky said she fell asleep before Mendoza-Chaparro came over. Zakzesky said she woke up around 2:30 a.m. and saw Mendoza-Chaparro asleep on the floor in the living room.
The next morning, Zakzesky said she was woken up by Katzfey, who said Mendoza-Chaparro had tried to steal a bong, a pipe and other items. The complaint indicates Katzfey dragged Mendoza-Chaparro by his feet into the kitchen and began beating him — punching and kicking him in his face and head approximately 25 times. Zakzesky said Mendoza-Chaparro kept saying he hadn’t stolen anything.
Zakzesky said Katzfey’s brother came in and hit Mendoza-Chaparro in the face approximately five times.
According to the complaint, Zakzesky admitted to punching the victim approximately five times in the face and kicked him three times because she was angry he was stealing. Zakzesky said Mendoza-Chaparro “had no chance” and “didn’t even have a chance to raise his fists and fight man-to-man.”
Zakzesky said Katzfey recorded Mendoza-Chaparro on Mendoza-Chaparro’s Snapchat account.
Zakzesky said eventually, she went to get the car, and Katzfey put Mendoza-Chaparro in the backseat. They then drove to the area near 6th and Hayes and went left in the alley and drove two blocks. Zakzesky told officials she told Katzfey they needed to take Mendoza-Chaparro to the hospital but he said no.
The complaint indicates Katzfey was holding Mendoza-Chaparro as they got out of the car, and Mendoza-Chaparro fell over in a snowbank by garbage cans — unconscious. They then left the scene.