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Breaking: Gang member sentenced in Delavan shooting

June 03, 2011 | 06:19 PM
Elkhorn — A Delavan teen who was involved in a gang-related shooting last year was sentenced to four years and three months of confinement June 3 by Judge Robert Kennedy

Kennedy also sentenced Ross R. Koepke, now 18, to an additional three years and nine months of supervision.

It remains unclear who pulled the trigger in the shooting, but court documents indicate Koepke and two other gang members drove to a home on Spruce Street. At the residence someone fired shots at rival gang member, but missed.

"This is extremely dangerous and someone could have died," Kennedy said.

At the time of the shooting, Koepke was on probation for misdemeanor convictions of possession of marijuana, resisting an officer and two counts of bail jumping.

After the shooting, while free on bond, he was arrested Feb. 17 in Fontana after he ran from a police officer, who later found pot in his possession.

Koepke's defense attorney, Steven Spear, argued that his young client suffers from a drug and alcohol addiction and needs treatment not confinement.

Spear asked the judge to hand down a lengthy prison term, but to impose and stay it meaning Koepke would only serve the time if he violates the conditions of his probation.

Two other people have been charged in Walworth County Circuit Court in connection to the shooting.

Estevan J. Duran, 22, originally of Delavan, was sentenced April 15 to 7-1/2 years in prison after pleading guilty to first-degree recklessly endangering safety. That sentence includes five years of extended supervision.

Duran also pleaded guilty to felony bail jumping and was sentenced to one year in jail with work release privileges, but that sentence won't begin until he completes his prison and extended supervision term.

Steven Barrera, 20, of Delavan, has a charge of first-degree reckless endangerment pending in Walworth County Circuit Court.

During the hearing, Assistant District Attorney Zeke Wiedenfeld said Koepke has a long criminal record.

"I think a prison sentence was necessary to deter gang crime in Walworth County," Wiedenfeld said. "I'm glad Judge Kennedy recognized the serious nature of the offense."

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