MILWAUKEE — A man convicted of shooting and killing his own friend at Brett’s Farmhouse near 60th and Good Hope in January has been sentenced to prison.
24-year-old Vernon Nevlis in May pleaded guilty to one count of second degree reckless homicide. On June 29th, he was sentenced to serve nine years in prison and six years extended supervision, with credit for 169 days time served.
He must perform 100 hours of community service as a condition of his probation, and it must be focused on preventing bad decision-making with firearms.
After this crime, Nevlis was arrested in Indianapolis.
According to a criminal complaint, on January 7th, a group of bar patrons were at Brett’s Farmhouse, located near 60th and Good Hope Road in Milwaukee — where they observed a man later identified as Nevlis, seated at the bar near the front door. The witness who spoke with investigators said Nevlis looked upset/angry.
The witness told investigators he was there with friends — two women and his brother.
The criminal complaint states Nevlis went into the bathroom, came out looking upset, and began hovering around the table of friends.
The witness told investigators he felt Nevlis was potentially going to rob their party. He stated Nevlis was standing, staring at their party when one of the women in his group asked, ‘Do I know you? Can we help you?’ At which point Nevlis responded, “(expletive) I can stand where the (expletive) I want.”
According to the complaint, the conversation between the group and Nevlis escalated. Nevlis stated to the group, “meet me outside,” and turned to walk outside. The witness stated to investigators he feared Nevlis had a weapon on him and due to the size difference between himself and Nevlis, they did not follow him outside.
The criminal complaint states Nevlis came back inside the bar a short time later and went up to the main witness of the group once again, “got into his face” and started threatening him. The witness told investigators at this point, he was “grabbed from behind on his right shoulder.” He then punched Nevlis one time in the face and a tussle began.
Investigators say the witness involved in the fight was grabbed by his brother after he punched Nevlis, at which point he observed Nevlis reach into his left inside coat pocket and pull out a pistol. The witness stated he could see the gun was getting caught on Nevlis’ jacket, which gave him and his brother time to flee the scene.
As they fled, the witness told officials he heard one gunshot and observed a man fall to the floor. The two brothers then ran out of the bar towards the train tracks and hid until police arrived.
The man who was shot and killed was later identified as 30-year-old Frederick Jackson.
The criminal complaint states surveillance video from inside the bar shows Nevlis engaging in the verbal altercation described by the witness. Nevlis can be seen placing what appears to be a firearm back inside his coat after the scuffle that occurred inside the bar.
The complaint states,”it is at this point, from watching the video, it appears (Nevlis) has realized that he has shot his own friend by accident.”
The video shows Nevlis and another person leave the bar, re-enter and appear to be looking for something on the ground consistent with him picking up the casing.
Nevlis is then seen leaving the bar.