MILWAUKEE COUNTY — A jury trial begins Monday, September 26th for one of three men charged in connection with the shooting death of five-year-old Laylah Petersen.
Petersen was shot while inside a home near 58th and Fairmount on November 6, 2014.
21-year-old Carl Barrett Jr. faces the following charges in this case:
- First degree reckless homicide, use of a dangerous weapon, as party to a crime
- First degree recklessly endangering safety, use of a dangerous weapon, as party to a crime (three counts)
In August, Barrett pleaded not guilty.
Two other men are also charged in this case.
24-year-old Arlis Gordon faces the following charges:
- Second degree reckless homicide, use of a dangerous weapon, as party to a crime
- Second degree recklessly endangering safety, as party to a crime (three counts)
Gordon will be sentenced on December 8th after pleading guilty.
25-year-old Paul Farr faces two felony counts of harboring/aiding a felon. Farr has pleaded guilty to both charges as part of a deferred judgement agreement.
He will be sentenced on October 21st.
Laylah Petersen would have turned six years old on September 23rd, 2015. But her young life was cut short when she was shot while she was sitting on her grandfather’s lap inside a home near 58th and Fairmount on November 6, 2014.
Petersen died at the hospital, as a result of two gunshot wounds to her head. Her death was ruled a homicide.
According to a criminal complaint, 12 9mm casings were recovered from the scene, along with a total of seven deformed bullets/bullet fragments. A Wisconsin Crime Lab analysis of the 12 casings revealed two firearms were used in this shooting.
Police say Paul Farr and Carl Barrett were arrested on October 14th, 2015 in Milwaukee. Gordon was arrested in suburban Chicago on October 17th, 2015 on unrelated charges.
“These individuals were motivated by a tragic, but also absurd chain of events,” Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn said in announcing the arrests in this case.
Chief Flynn said the shooting death of Laylah Petersen occurred on the same day a man was acquitted in a murder trial in Milwaukee County — and Chief Flynn said the suspects “shot the wrong house.”
A criminal complaint says Arlis Gordon was in court on November 6th, 2014 as a jury was deliberating in a homicide case. The complaint indicates Gordon was the homicide victim’s “brother.”
The complaint says during a break in the court proceedings, Gordon contacted a man and asked him to lend Gordon a firearm. Then, Gordon — accompanied by Barrett, met the man at Farr’s home, and the man gave Gordon a firearm.
According to the complaint, the firearm was a “unique looking 9mm semi-automatic handgun, green in color, with a camouflage pattern on it.”
Late on the afternoon of November 6th, 2014, the jury deliberating in the homicide case acquitted the man facing charges — issuing a not guilty verdict.
Police say following the verdict, a man reported he ran into Gordon near Sherman and Villard — and said Gordon was “very upset,” and intoxicated. That man indicated Gordon was talking about his brother’s killer, and that he stated: “He killed my brother and he’s getting out! This can’t be going on. I’m gonna do something about it.”
The complaint says around dusk on November 6th, Gordon called Farr and told them “they could come get the gun.” Shortly thereafter, Farr, Barrett and another man got into Farr’s vehicle and drove to a location where Gordon’s family was gathering after the jury’s verdict was heard.
Eventually, Gordon got into Farr’s vehicle — and the men drove towards a location referred to as “Baby Girl’s house.”
At one point during this ride, the complaint indicates Gordon asked that the vehicle stop, because he had to pick something up. Cell phone records showed at this point in time, Farr’s phone was located very close to the scene of the homicide of Laylah Petersen (58th and Fairmount.)
The complaint says Gordon and Barrett exited the vehicle — and Farr and the other man stayed inside.
A few seconds later, the man in the vehicle with Farr told investigators he heard “a barrage of gunfire.”
Within seconds, Barrett and Gordon got back into the vehicle — and Farr drove away.
The men continued driving towards “Baby Girl’s house” on 42nd Street. There, the complaint indicates two firearms were placed on a table, and Barrett and Gordon began talking about the shooting, with Gordon telling the group: “I emptied the whole clip! We lit the whole (expletive) up!”
The complaint indicates the fourth man who was with Gordon, Barrett and Farr on November 6th told investigators he encountered Barrett in jail — and Barrett told the man that “they meant to hit the house of Gordon’s brother’s killer, or the house where his baby’s mama stays, but that they shot into the wrong house.” Police say Gordon asked that the man “keep his mouth shut.”
The home of Gordon’s brother’s killer’s girlfriend is four blocks from the scene of the homicide (at 54th and Fairmount), according to police.