MILWAUKEE COUNTY -- A woman accused in connection with the shooting death of 17-year-old Breanna Eskridge was sentenced to prison Tuesday, February 28th -- along with a second woman, who was charged with conspiracy to commit first degree intentional homicide, among other charges. Prosecutors say that woman was one of two others who assisted the man who has pleaded guilty to shooting Eskridge as he tried to take out a witness to another murder.
Prosecutors say the main actor in the shooting death of Eskridge was 35-year-old Antonio Smith. He's pleaded guilty in Eskridge's death, and in connection with a second, prior murder -- along with conspiracy to kill a witness to that murder.
A total of four people have now been sentenced to prison in this case. One is still awaiting sentencing.
34-year-old Wynette McClelland of Milwaukee in June pleaded guilty to one count of second degree reckless homicide in connection with the shooting of Eskridge.
In court on Tuesday, February 28th, McClelland was sentenced to serve 12 years in prison and eight years extended supervision, with credit for 360 days time served. She was ordered to pay $2,000 in restitution, along with Antonio Smith, who is believed to have been the person who shot and killed Eskridge.
35-year-old Antonio Smith pleaded guilty to charges in connection with three open cases on February 22nd.
The first was filed in July of 2015. Smith pleaded guilty to one count of first degree intentional homicide, penalties for Class A felony, use of a dangerous weapon (felony 5+ years). Eight other charges were dismissed. This case involved the death of Eddie Powe -- Eskridge's boyfriend.
The second case was filed in November of 2015. Smith pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit first degree intentional homicide, use of a dangerous weapon. One other charge was dismissed. This case involved allegations Smith plotted to kill a witness to the Powe homicide.
The third case was filed in March of 2016. Smith pleaded guilty to one count of first degree intentional homicide as party to a crime, use of a dangerous weapon. One other charge was dismissed. This case involved the death of Breanna Eskridge.
In the case involving the death of Breanna Eskridge, prosecutors say Smith was trying to get rid of witnesses to a prior murder -- the shooting death of Eddie Powe.
According to a criminal complaint, Eskridge was present when Powe, her boyfriend, was shot and killed on W. Port Sunlight Way on July 11th, 2015. A little more than a week later, on July 19th, Eskridge was shot and killed near 12th and Concordia. Eskridge's mother told police at the time, she believed "that her daughter was killed because Breanna was present at the murder of her boyfriend," Eddie Powe.
The complaint indicates Eskridge was with Wynette McClelland just moments before she was fatally shot. McClelland told police she had known Eskridge and her twin sister for approximately a year "and that they were very good friends. McClelland stated that Breanna Eskridge had confided in her that she was present at the scene of the Powe homicide."
In statements to police, McClelland said she "observed Antonio Smith shoot and kill Eddie Powe." She also told police that Smith repeatedly contacted her and "expressed his concern that Breanna Eskridge was going to identify him to police as the murderer." McClelland told police Smith "intended to kill" Eskridge and that "there weren't going to be any witnesses."
Cell phone records noted in the criminal complaint show there were instances in which Smith and McClelland spoke prior to the shooting of Eskridge. Smith also made phone calls and live two-way video chats from jail -- where he was being held for the murder of Eddie Powe. Some of those conversations involved a storage unit near 51st and Good Hope Road. When police executed a search warrant on the storage unit, they found the firearms and ammunition that were allegedly used in the Powe and Eskridge homicides.
Antonio Smith was already in custody (in connection with the death of Powe) at the time charges were filed for the death of Eskridge.
Officials say Smith continued to commit crimes from inside the Milwaukee County Jail after he was charged for the death of Powe -- running a drug business and plotting to kill a witness to the murder.
That witness, Joe Spivey, was also in jail on a weapons violation, but officials said Smith's conspirators bailed Spivey out, so that they could kill him.
Just moments before Spivey was released, the Victim Witness Protection investigators interceded and took him to safety -- preventing a homicide.
Antonio Smith and three others -- Shantrell Lyons, Lorenzo Beaton and Shaheem Smith were charged with conspiring to kill a witness to a homicide, among other charges.
22-year-old Lyons was sentenced on Tuesday, February 28th. This, after she pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit first degree intentional homicide, use of a dangerous weapon -- and one count of conspiracy to commit possession with intent to deliver heroin, less than 50 grams in April. Three other charges were dismissed.
Lyons was sentenced to serve 15 years in prison and 10 years extended supervision on the conspiracy to commit first degree homicide charge -- and 10 years in prison and five years extended supervision for the conspiracy to commit possession with intent to deliver heroin. She was given credit for 489 days time served.
These sentences are to be served concurrently -- so Lyons will serve a total of 15 years in prison, and 10 years extended supervision.
As for the other two -- 35-year-old Lorenzo Beaton in February of 2016 pleaded guilty to two charges -- conspiracy to commit first degree intentional homicide, use of a dangerous weapon, and one count of felon in possession of a firearm.
In April of 2016, Beaton was sentenced to serve 15 years in prison and 10 years extended supervision on the conspiracy to commit homicide charge -- and five years in prison and five years extended supervision for the felon in possession of a firearm charge.
These sentences are to be served consecutively, so Beaton will serve a total of 20 years in prison, and 15 years extended supervision.
22-year-old Shaheem Smith on February 22nd pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit first degree intentional homicide, use of a dangerous weapon.
Three other charges were dismissed.
Shaheem Smith will be sentenced on April 6th.