‘Hopefully he doesn’t die:’ Man pleads not guilty in shooting of 15-year-old over PS4, shoes

Justin Stapleton

PLEASANT PRAIRIE — A Pleasant Prairie man charged in connection with the shooting of a 15-year-old boy at a mobile home park pleaded not guilty Wednesday, March 13.

Justin Stapleton was in court for his arraignment. A judicial pre-trial hearing was set for May 30.

Stapleton is charged with the following counts:

  • Attempted first degree intentional homicide, use of a dangerous weapon
  • Possession of a firearm by adjudicated delinquent
  • Armed robbery
  • First degree recklessly endangering safety, use of a dangerous weapon

According to the criminal complaint, Pleasant Prairie police were called to Westwood Mobile Home Park off 88th Avenue shortly before midnight on Oct. 22, 2018. When officers arrived, they found a 15-year-old boy with gunshot wounds to his face, left shoulder, left arm, abdomen and left leg. The boy was taken to Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin for treatment of those injuries.

Pleasant Prairie shooting incident

An officer reported noticing multiple bullet holes in the hallway walls of the mobile home as well as inside the victim’s bedroom. One of the bullets apparently struck a parked car inside the garage.

While on the scene, officers were able to ask the 15-year-old victim questions about what happened. The victim stated “it was J-Roc that shot him” — also known as Stapleton. The victim told officers Stapleton “robbed (him) of his shoes and his Play Station 4.” The victim stated Stapleton “came to his window and demanded his PS4 and Air Jordan shoes.” The victim said he turned over the property to Stapleton and Stepleton “then started shooting at him.”

Pleasant Prairie shooting incident

During a search of Stapleton’s home, the complaint said officers “located a blue Adidas bag, a small camera case, a black graphic T-shirt and a black semi-automatic Glock 17 handgun with a 30-round extended magazine.” Officers ran the serial number on the weapon and it “was showing a stolen status out of Illinois.” Officers also reported “at least two pair of shoes found match shoes taken from (the victim) and from an empty Nike show box found in his room with blood smeared on it.”

Stapleton was taken into custody.

While transporting Stapleton to the Pleasant Prairie Police Department, the complaint said Stapleton asked “how long someone would go to prison for if they committed a murder.” He also asked “how his ‘little Buddy’ was doing — referring to the victim.” The complaint indicates Stapleton also stated “something along the lines of hopefully he doesn’t die as he (the defendant) does not want to get life. He then paused and added, for a crime he didn’t commit.”

Stapleton later spoke with a sergeant at the Pleasant Prairie Police Department and “repeatedly denied being involved with the shooting.” He claimed “he was at home sleeping when he heard some gunshots go off.”

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