Friday, June 01, 2007

DA: McGee discussed killing man

Milwaukee Ald. Michael McGee and two others discussed killing a man over a burglary before settling on a beating instead, the Milwaukee County DA charged in court Wednesday.

But McGee attorney Glen Givens said prosecutors misunderstood street language the three men used, saying that language like "bust up and beat down" indicated at best a misdemeanor battery.

"You have to look at who's using the language, what community it comes from before you can draw conclusions about what it is that's being communicated," Givens said.

The details emerged in a court hearing over whether to unseal details of state felony charges of solicitation to commit substantial battery and conspiracy to commit substantial battery.

Milwaukee County DA John Chisholm, who would go along with unsealing the charges, said intercepted phone calls provide "proof beyond a reasonable doubt" that McGee played a supervisory role in a conspiracy that intended to inflict at least substantial battery on the man, if not worse. Chisholm said he elected the lighter charge because a later conversation clarified that it was not to be a killing, but "a busting up, a beat down."

He said McGee, Dimitrius Jackson and Little Stewart used language at one point like "peeling his wig back," and "sew his cap together," to describe what they wanted done to the man. Chisholm also said a wiretap recorded McGee saying at one point "that (n-word) needs some quicksand."

"I don't have a degree in Sopranos, but that's pretty direct evidence of escalating things to a pretty serious level," Chisholm said.

McGee is being held on $100,000 bail, which Judge Dennis P. Moroney reduced from $250,000 today.

McGee faces up to 3 years, six months in prison and a $10,000 fine on each of the state charges. He was charged yesterday with federal charges of bribery and extortion, for which he faces up to 30 years in prison and a $500,000 fine.

Moroney said the state's complaint and evidence will remain under seal until all parties agree to open them or testimony about them is provided in open court.

McGee and Jackson appeared in court today. Stewart was not present. The next hearing is scheduled for June 5, at 1:30 p.m.

At least 50 supporters of McGee packed the courtroom and hallway.

Listen to audio from today's proceedings:
http://www.wispolitics.com/1006/2007_05_30_McGee.mp3

In addition, a campaign worker for Milwaukee Ald. Michael McGee has been charged with paying people $5 to vote in this spring's recall election.

Garrett Huff faces up to 3.5 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

See the criminal complaint:
http://www.wispolitics.com/1006/070531HuffComplaint.pdf

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