RACINE -- The man accused of shooting and killing Racine Police Officer John Hetland made his first court appearance in Racine on Monday afternoon, July 1 -- and bond was set at $5 million. The accused, Dalquavis Ward, 26, appeared by video conference. He has been charged with the following:
- First-degree intentional homicide -- use of a dangerous weapon
- Armed robbery
- Possession of a firearm by a convicted felon
"If the defendant is found guilty in this case, he is likely never to be out of custody again," said Michael Graveley, Kenosha County District Attorney in court on Monday.
New details have emerged that paint a clearer picture of what happened inside Teezers Bar the night of Monday, June 17. Documents state Ward, wearing dark clothing and a mask, entered the bar with a "semi-automatic handgun displayed." The bartender told police Ward said to "give him all the (expletive) money out of the register." Officer Hetland then climbed over the bar, got into a physical altercation with the defendant that apparently lasted about "14 seconds." Officials say at that point, Ward "pushes Hetland back about two to three feet," firing "the handgun at Hetland's chest."
"The defendant was on federal supervision," Graveley said.
Ward has a lengthy criminal past. In 2008, when he was 15 years old, Ward was convicted of felony armed robbery. Federal court records show Ward reached a plea agreement with prosecutors for a separate armed robbery in Racine in December 2014. In 2015, he was charged with -- and later convicted of -- disorderly conduct, strangulation and possession of a firearm by a felon.
Ward was released from federal prison just four days prior to the June 17 shooting incident.
DNA evidence collected at Teezers Bar and from Hetland's shirt was sent to the Wisconsin State Crime Lab. On Thursday, June 27 -- the day after Officer Hetland was laid to rest -- authorities matched that evidence to Ward, an offender who was already on file. Ward was arrested in Milwaukee later that day.
Following Monday's court hearing, a family member spoke with FOX6 News, stating that she believes Ward is "innocent."
Ward is being held in the Kenosha County Jail. He is due back in court on July 17 for a preliminary hearing. Coincidentally, that is one month to the date after Officer Hetland was killed in this incident.