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1 of 2 men charged in shooting, attempted carjacking in Port Washington sentenced to prison

Lavander Blanks

PORT WASHINGTON — One of two Milwaukee men charged in connection with a shooting and attempted carjacking that happened in downtown Port Washington on May 20, 2018 was sentenced to prison. The 18-year-old shooting victim was treated and released from the hospital.

Lavander Blanks, 27, pleaded no contest to a charged of attempted armed robbery, as party to a crime in December of 2018. In court on Thursday, Feb. 14, Blanks was sentenced to serve six years in prison and four years extended supervision.

Online court records noted that sentence was to be served consecutively to the sentence handed down in 2013, in a case filed in February of that year. Blanks pleaded guilty in July of 2013 to a charge of armed robbery, as party to a crime. He was sentenced to serve three years in prison and four years extended supervision.

The co-defendant in the Port Washington shooting, Niyoktron Martin, 21, in December pleaded no contest to a charge of attempted first degree intentional homicide, as party to a crime. A sentencing hearing was set for Feb. 28.

Vigil for man killed near 38th and Good Hope

Niyoktron Martin

Martin is also charged in a separate case — facing a single count of felony murder filed in September of 2018. In that case, he has a jury trial scheduled for April 29.

Prosecutors said he was involved in a homicide two days before the Port Washington shooting. It happened May 18, 2018 near 38th and Good Hope, where the victim, who would have turned 26 in June, was found in a parking lot, bleeding from the chest. Police spoke with witnesses — teachers at a nearby school. They said three men were fighting in the parking lot, apparently over a handgun. They said two men were punching and kicking a third man, who was on the ground, unable to fight back. The witnesses said they then heard multiple gunshots, and saw one of the men standing over the victim with a handgun. The two men then each got into separate SUVs and fled the scene. A firearm recovered when Blanks and Martin were arrested on May 21, 2018 (after the Port Washington incident) was purchased by the homicide victim, investigators said. According to prosecutors, Martin told Blanks his cousin had set up a robbery, which Martin said he was present for, armed with a pistol. Martin said the 38th and Good Hope homicide victim had reached for his pistol, and Martin shot him. Phone records and DNA evidence put Martin at that scene, prosecutors said.

Port Washington shooting

Police said in the case involving the Port Washington shooting, an investigation revealed no potential link between the victim and suspects, or a motive for the shooting.

According to a criminal complaint, an 18-year-old man was parked in his car near Main and Wisconsin Streets around 10:30 p.m. on May 20, 2018. Investigators said he was approached by two men, later identified as Martin and Blanks, and ordered out of the vehicle at gunpoint.

Officials said the victim tried to quickly reverse his vehicle to flee, but was shot in the shoulder. He transported himself to the nearby police station for treatment — as he dialed 911:

Dispatcher: “911 what is your emergency.”

Victim: “I’ve just been shot.”

Dispatcher:  “I need your location.”

Victim: “I’m by the bar that’s in Port Washington.”

Dispatcher: “Which park?”

Victim: “I’ll go to Schooner’s Pub. I’m driving. They shot me in my car.”

Dispatcher: “They shot you in your car?”

Victim: “Yes. I’m shot in the arm. They came up to me and shot me.” 

Dispatcher: “What city are you in?”

Victim: “Port Washington, Wisconsin. I’m by the police station. I’m in front of the police station. Holy (expletive), they shot my window out. I’m parking my car. I’m getting out the car.”

Dispatcher:What type of vehicle are you in?”

Victim: “I’m in a Chrysler 200. I’m running to the police station right now. I got shot.”

Dispatcher:We’ve got people on the way. Just stay on the line with me. Was the shot accidental? I need you to talk to me.”

Victim: “I’m bleeding everywhere ma’am. I got shot in the arm.” 

Dispatcher: “Where are you shot?”

Victim: “I got shot in the arm.”

Dispatcher:Who shot you? Who shot you?”

Victim: “I’m bleeding out. Oh my God. I need to call my mom and dad. It was outside my house.”

At the crime scene, shell casings were recovered along with an unspent round in a nearby doorway.

During the investigation, the complaint said officers caught up with two men who were driving near the crime scene on more than one occasion. One of the men stated he had been receiving texts from Blanks following the shooting, who offered $75 for a ride out of Port Washington.

The complaint said that man picked up Blanks from a location on Franklin Street in Port Washington. During the ride to Milwaukee, investigators said Blanks instructed him “to take the back roads, not to enter downtown and if he saw the police — leave.”

Meantime, the Port Washington Police Department received numerous tips regarding two men seen running from the shooting scene toward Franklin Street, along with someone who saw two men on several occasions enter an apartment building near Franklin and Jackson Streets.

Investigators eventually observed a man matching the description of one of the men involved in the shooting exit the apartment building on Franklin Street. He was taken into custody and identified as Niyoktron Martin.

A search warrant was executed at the apartment located on Franklin Street. Officials said Blanks was found inside, along with a 9mm handgun and numerous 9mm rounds of ammunition and shell casings  — which were substantially similar to those found at the crime scene.

Investigators determined the two men had been staying in the apartment building for several weeks before the shooting. They were arrested one day later.

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