50 years for Darmequaye Cohill in death of baby Bill Thao: “My son got killed, so he don’t deserve to be alive”

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MILWAUKEE -- Darmequaye Cohill -- the man found guilty during a jury trial on two charges in connection with the December 2014 shooting death of baby Bill Thao -- was sentenced to 50 years in prison on Thursday, January 14th.

Darmequaye Cohill

Darmequaye Cohill

Cohill was found guilty of first degree recklessly endangering safety, and first degree reckless homicide in the death of Bill Thao.

The criminal complaint says Cohill fired into a home near 73rd and Mill Road on December 27th, 2014. 13-month-old Bill Thao was playing with toys in the living room of that home. Thao was struck as shots were fired into the home. He died at Children's Hospital.

Bill Thao

Bill Thao

Police say Cohill's intended target was Kwesen Sanders, a heroin dealer who lived nearby.

Police and prosecutors say Cohill fired into the wrong house. 41 total shots were fired into the home.

"Complete disregard for human life," Judge Jeffrey Wagner said on Thursday during Cohill's sentencing hearing.

Sanders had made a deal with prosecutors in exchange for his testimony identifying Cohill as the shooter, but then went back on that deal in front of a jury during Cohill's trial.

The jury found Cohill guilty anyway.

Bill Thao

Bill Thao

On Thursday, Bill Thao's father pleaded with the judge to put Cohill away for a long time.

"I need to show you my son's picture. 120 years in prison. That is what I need. He earned it," Somboon Thao said.

Meanwhile, Cohill's attorney told the judge the wrong man has been convicted in this case.

Memorial set up in honor of Bill Thao

Memorial set up in honor of Bill Thao

"There were 1,728 people in this country since 1989 who have been exonerated -- innocent people in prison for crimes they didn't commit. I'm confident that one day Mr. Cohill is going to be added to that list," Craig Powell said.

Powell said Cohill wasn't even at the scene when Bill Thao was shot.

Bill Thao's father said the 50-year prison sentence handed down to Cohill isn't enough.

"My son got killed, so he don't deserve to be alive, you know? 50 years is too short," Samboon Thao said.

In addition to the 50 years in prison, Cohill has been ordered to serve 25 years extended supervision.

Bill Thao and family

Bill Thao and family

After the death of baby Bill Thao, Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn called 2014 the worst year he's seen when it comes to gun violence against kids. CLICK HERE to access those remarks.

CLICK HERE to access a collection of coverage in this case via FOX6Now.com.



        Chris is right. This reckless, murdering heroin dealer deserves the death penalty. PERIOD. It would send a message to the other wanna-be thugs that this kind of behavior is not tolerated and will be “corrected”. Public executions would help bring down the crime rate big-time. There’s hope and change for you…

  • Brisls

    Another case for Making of a Murder so all the idiots out there can sign a petition to put him back on the streets. We need the death penalty back so taxpayers don’t have to support this POS for another 40 or more years.

  • Itsabouttime

    Fantastic another thug of the streets but Cohill should have gotten life you take a life you do life POS

  • dick

    Im sure he was at his full time job when this was happening!! Its all a misunderstand! Im sure this brother has never even seen a gun before! Sounds neat!

  • Joel

    Our judicial system is so screwed up. 50 years for killing a child. He should rot in prision or get the death penalty.

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