Source: Lake Geneva Regional News

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Man receives 5 years for role in Walworth shooting

by Rob Ireland

September 29, 2011

ELKHORN — A 19-year-old man who set up a drug deal that turned into a shooting was sentenced Friday to five years in a state prison.

Corey Moore-Morrison, of Janesville, pleaded guilty to a felony charge of robbery with use of force and possession of marijuana with intent to deliver.

After he is released from jail, he will serve two years of extended supervision.

On Aug. 5 2010, Moore-Morrison set up a drug deal between Eric Grethe and Nathan Williams. During the deal, according to court documents, Williams pulled a gun on Grethe and attempted to rob him. However, Grethe pushed the firearm away from his head and down toward his back where he was shot. During the scuffle between Williams and Grethe, Moore-Morrison grabbed Grethe's money and ran.

Moore-Morrison has maintained he wasn't aware Williams planned on robbing Grethe, and has cooperated with law enforcement during the investigation.

He is expected to testify against Williams during his jury trial, which is scheduled to begin Nov. 28. Williams, 30, faces felony charges of possession of marijuana with intent to deliver, armed robbery, first-degree reckless injury and being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Before his sentencing Moore-Morrison apologized for his actions.

"I'd like to ask for forgiveness," Moore-Morrison said. "Nobody deserves what happened to Mr. Grethe."

Grethe did not attend the hearing or write a victim-impact statement, but has requested restitution for medical expenses.

A presentence investigation report — a report generated by the Department of Corrections that reviews the crime, and past behaviors of the defendant — recommended a 5 to 7 year sentence.

Moore-Morrison's defense attorney, Joshua Klaff, argued the PSI recommendation was too high and asked Judge David Reddy for an 18 month prison sentence.

Klaff also said his client doesn't have a close relationship with Williams and that the two met in jail. He said when Moore-Morrison took money from Grethe, it was because he was afraid of Williams.

"Quite frankly, he didn't want to be the victim either," Klaff said.

Klaff said his client is taking a risk by cooperating with law enforcement in the case.

"It is a difficult type of cooperation, there have been threats to Mr. Moore-Morrison from Mr. Williams," he said. "(Williams) made a gesture that there is money on (Moore-Morrison's) head."

Klaff also said Moore-Morrison earned his GED while incarcerated in the Walworth County Jail.

Klaff was "somewhat angry" when he learned his client scored in the 96 percentile in reading in language arts on the GED exam.

"Why are you here? How can you allow this to happen," Klaff said. "He should be in college, he shouldn't be here at a sentencing hearing on two serious charges."

During the sentencing hearing, District Attorney Phillip Koss didn't make a recommendation for sentencing.

"His culpability is shared, but it's less than Mr. Williams," Koss said.

Koss said the state's case against Williams isn't totally dependant upon Moore-Morrison, but he has been helpful.

When sentencing Moore-Morrison, Reddy quoted several lines from the presentence investigation that made it clear the defendant had been in trouble with the law before.

"There isn't too much he takes responsibility for, but he doesn't seem to object to the criminal activity that occurs around him," Reddy said while quoting the PSI.

Reddy found Moore-Morrison eligible for the challenge incarceration program and the earned release program, which will make it possible that he will be released from prison earlier.

Moore-Morrison also will receive credit for the time he spent in the county jail, which was more than 400 days, while awaiting sentencing.