|Casillas (click for larger version)|
April 01, 2014 | 11:13 AMELKHORN — A man who was part of a gang-related drive-by shooting last year was sentenced to five years in prison on Monday by Judge David Reddy.
Cameron M. Casillas, 19, of Milwaukee, was also sentenced to five years of extended supervision for his role in the shooting.
On Jan. 19, 2013, Casillas, Alfredo and Martin Villarreall, Sarah Brittain and Rochelle Sorg allegedly drove to a home on Hartwell Street in Elkhorn and fired several shots into the house.
At the time of the shooting, five people were in the home, including Alexander Maurizzi.
Assistant District Attorney Haley Rea said the shooting was a retaliation against Maurizzi, who allegedly hit Casillas with a hammer.
“Luckily, none of the five people in the home were hurt by the shots,” Rea said.
Maurizzi was charged with a felony after he allegedly hit Casillas, but the charges were dropped when Casillas didn’t attend the trial.
Before the drive-by took place, Casillas, Sorg and Brittain allegedly drove by Maurizzi’s home and Casillas stuck the gun out the window and pulled the trigger. However, the gun didn’t fire.
The group then picked up Alfredo and Martin Villarreall.
At about 7:50 p.m. that evening, the group drove by the home again and Alfredo Villarreall, Casillas’ cousin, fired several shots into the home.
After the shooting, Alfredo Villarreall was taken into custody. While in the Walworth County jail, police found Alfredo Villarreall on the jail cell floor. Alfredo Villarreall was transported to Aurora Lakeland Medical Center, where he tried to escape.
During the escape attempt, a deputy mortally shot Alfredo Villarreall. Martin Villarreall was never charged in connection to the shooting after he agreed to cooperate with police, according to Casillas’ attorney, Frank Lettenberger.
Brittain was sentenced to two years in prison and two years of extended supervision. Sorg is awaiting a jury trial.
Although Casillas doesn’t have a criminal record as an adult, Rea argued that Casillas has a criminal history.
In 2005, Casillas and other juveniles broke into a garage by kicking down the door. Several items were removed from the home and gang graffiti was sprayed on the garage.
Casillas was arrested two additional times as a a juvenile.
During the sentencing hearing, Lettenberger said Casillas came from a terrible home life that was plagued with dysfunction.
Lettenberger said Casillas didn’t have steady adult role models in his life. The adult guardians in Casillas’ life have been arrested for drugs and violent crimes.
“He comes from a tragic background,” Lettenberger said.
Lettenberger said that Casillas has only met his biological father one time, and the man he identifies as his father has served time in prison for armed robbery.
“Can you actually imagine that home life,” Lettenberger said.
Lettenberger asked Reddy to impose, but stay a prison sentence.
That means if Casillas violates the terms of his probation, he would go directly to prison.
“He was never given a chance to be a boy,” Lettenberger said. “He was never given a chance to be a man. Just give him a chance and he will do OK.”
Lettenberger said that Casillas will have to live with having a role in Villarreall’s death.
“Cameron understands that he played a part in Alfredo Villarreall’s death,” Lettenberger said. “Part and parcel to that, Cameron has to say someone died because he was there.”
When Casillas was given a chance to speak, he apologized to the victims. He also said Alfredo Villarreall’s death has taken a toll on him.
“This goes to show that the decisions we make can cause death, embarrassment and bad outcomes,” Casillas said.
Casillas’ legal trouble isn’t over.
On March 14, the Walworth County District Attorney’s office filed four new felony charges against Casillas.
He now faces two counts of delivering cocaine and two counts of felony bail jumping. Casillas allegedly sold the drug on Jan. 17 and 21, according to online court records.