WAUKESHA COUNTY — 29-year-old Darrin Malone, found guilty by a jury in connection with a fatal shooting at a Waukesha gas station in January of 2015 was sentenced on Thursday, April 21st.
A jury in February found Malone guilty of one count of felony murder as party to a crime, repeater.
On Thursday, he was sentenced to serve 25 years in prison, and 10 years extended supervision with credit for 421 days served.
A restitution hearing was scheduled for July 7th.
On January 13th, 2015, two masked men robbed the Waukesha gas station near Whiterock Avenue and Moreland Boulevard. Prosecutors say one of them was Malone. They say the other was Kenneth Thomas — who allegedly shot and killed the store clerk.
Malone was charged with felony murder even though he did not pull the trigger — because someone died while a crime was being committed.
Jerica Cotton, the alleged getaway driver, was also charged with felony murder (as party to a crime).
21-year-old Kenneth Thomas in February reached a plea deal in the case against him — pleading guilty to two amended charges: felony murder and armed robbery, repeater. Five other charges were dismissed.
Thomas will be sentenced on May 4th.
24-year-old Jerica Cotton in February reached a plea deal in the case against her — pleading guilty to armed robbery as party to a crime — an amended charge.
Cotton will be sentenced on April 28th.
Police say Malone went into the gas station on the night of the robbery/fatal shooting — following behind Thomas. Cotton, police say, was the getaway driver.
According to the criminal complaint, Malone supplied the masks that were used in the crime. Thomas told police “Malone was behind him (when they walked into the gas station) and that the clerk started freaking out and so did he. Thomas stated that the clerk ran out as he climbed over the counter. Thomas stated that the clerk then came around and grabbed him and the next thing he knew, the gun went off.” The complaint indicates that Malone asked Thomas “if he did it on purpose and Thomas said no.”
Police arrested Thomas, a convicted felon, in West Allis less than 10 hours after the shooting. Cotton was also quickly apprehended. Darrin Malone, however, was on the run until February 23rd, 2015 — more than a month after the shooting.
Police believe Thomas and his accomplices were involved in at least six robberies in four jurisdictions. Their crime spree touched the communities of West Allis, Milwaukee, the Town of Brookfield and the city of Waukesha.