GUILTY: Jury returns verdict for one of three accused in fatal shooting; defense tries to have case thrown out

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KENOSHA COUNTY (WITI) — A jury has returned a guilty verdict for one of three men charged in the shooting death of Anthony Edwards in Kenosha. This, as the defense has tried to get this case thrown out.

20-year-old Edwards was found dead near 65th and Sheridan Road in Kenosha on April 14th, 2014. Police say Edwards was driving a car — and ended up driving the car into a home. Police believe the shooting occurred in the area of 58th Street and 11th Avenue.

23-year-old Joseph-Jamal Brantley faced four total charges in the case: first degree reckless homicide, armed robbery, first degree recklessly endangering safety and carrying a concealed weapon.

On Monday, March 2nd, a jury found Brantley guilty on all four charges.

After the verdict was read, the state asked that Brantley’s bond be revoked — but that was denied. The state then asked that the court make a judgement on the verdict — an order that it be filed in public records, but the court withheld a ruling at this time. The defense then renewed its motion to have this case dismissed, and the defense has been asked to reduce this motion to writing with a supporting brief to be filed within 25 days.

The state may then respond 20 days thereafter.

A motions hearing is scheduled for April 27th.

Brantley’s sentencing is scheduled for the afternoon of April 27th, should the motion to dismiss the case be denied.

Joseph-Jamal Brantley and Markese Tibbs

Joseph-Jamal Brantley and Markese Tibbs

Others charged in this case include:

20-year-old Markese Tibbs of Kenosha (charged with felony murder, armed robbery and first degree recklessly endangering safety) and 20-year-old Brandon Horak (charged with felony murder).

Tibbs pleaded guilty to felony murder, and the other charges filed against him were dismissed. He’ll be sentenced on March 12th.

Horak will be in court later this week. He has a status conference scheduled for March 5th.

Brandon Horak

Brandon Horak

A criminal complaint filed in the case against says law enforcement officials spoke with Anthony Edwards’ cousin — who was a passenger in the vehicle Edwards was driving and subsequently crashed into the home. That individual told officials he and Edwards had planned to meet up with two men in the area of 58th Street and 11th Avenue to sell them marijuana.

Edwards’ cousin told officials they arrived in the area — and two men approached the vehicle, and Edwards asked them if they had the money. He told police Tibbs showed them the money, and Edwards then showed them the marijuana. That’s when Brantley and Tibbs apparently began arguing — and Edwards’ cousin told officials Brantley reached into the window and struck Edwards in the face — before pulling out a handgun and pressing the gun to the right side of Edwards’ face, saying “Or you can just give me it” — referring to the bag of marijuana.

Brantley is accused of reaching into the vehicle and taking the bag of marijuana from Edwards’ lap. Edwards then put the car into gear and began to accelerate.

Edwards’ cousin told officials they got about five feet before he heard gunshots. Edwards then reported he had been shot in the lung, according to his cousin. Anthony Edwards continued to drive and began to lose consciousness — eventually crashing the vehicle into a home on Sheridan Road.

Law enforcement officials were able to track footprints in fresh snow from the location where the shooting occurred to an apartment on 59th Street — and Brantley and Tibbs were taken into custody.

The complaint says Tibbs initially denied being involved in the incident — but later admitted to it.

Tibbs told officials he had over $100 in his hand as he and Brantley approached Edwards’ vehicle — and he says he was planning on buying a quarter bag. Tibbs told officials Brantley was undecided as to whether he was going to join in on the purchase, according to the complaint.

The complaint says Tibbs told officials Brantley asked to see the bag again — before pulling out a handgun and saying “Let me get that” — referring to the bag of marijuana.

Tibbs says the car started to peel off, and he heard the gunshots.

Tibbs told officials he ran to the apartment on 59th Street — and says Brantley eventually showed up there as well. Tibbs says Horak — also at the apartment said “I think you just killed the dude,” and Tibbs says Brantley said “no, no, I missed,” according to the complaint.

Shortly thereafter, Tibbs says the police showed up.

A search warrant was executed on the apartment on 59th Street — and police found a Guardian .32 caliber revolver hidden in a drop ceiling.

Horak told police Brantley and Tibbs wanted to rob someone — and established a plan to do so. Horak told police he made arrangements to have Edwards and his cousin come over to the area. Horak says Brantley and Tibbs left — Brantley with the revolver in his pocket. Horak says he himself went out onto the porch — and later saw Edwards’ car speeding away and heard the gunshots, according to the complaint.

Horak told officials he got a text message from Edwards’ cousin saying: “You killed my cousin.” The man told officials he told Brantley Edwards was dead — and Brantley said: “I shot and saw a spark but there was no way I hit them,” according to the complaint. Horak says Brantley offered him money not to go to the police.

A Medical Examiner determined Edwards died as a result of a single gunshot wound to his left back.

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