Source: Lake Geneva Regional News

Deputy identified in fatal shooting

February 21, 2013

ELKHORN — The Walworth County Sheriff’s Department released the name of the deputy involved in the fatal shooting of an inmate at Aurora Lakeland Medical Center.

The deputy, Richard Lagle, has been with the Walworth County Sheriff’s Department since May 2009. The investigation into the shooting has been turned over to the Waukesha County Sheriff’s Department and is ongoing.

On Jan. 21, Alfredo Emilio Villarreal, 18, was killed at Lakeland Hospital where he was receiving treatment. Villarreal allegedly attacked Lagle, who was guarding him.

The attack reportedly occurred when Villarreal was unschackled to use the restroom.

The day after the shooting, Walworth County Sheriff David Graves spoke to the Regional News and other media outlets about the shooting. A deputy who had been guarding Villarreal earlier had released his ankle restraints to allow Villarreal to use the bathroom in the patient room without incident, Graves said.

Lagle was following the same routine when Villarreal requested to use the restroom, Graves said.

Sometime around 6:47 p.m. Monday, when Lagle released Villarreal’s restraints, Villarreal attacked Lagle, punching him and kicking him in the face several times.

Lagle called for assistance and then deployed his Taser, which failed to subdue Villarreal, Graves said. Graves would not say whether Villarreal somehow withstood the Taser charge to continue fighting, or if the Taser failed to function.

Graves said that is part of the investigation.

Villarreal then grabbed a chair and tried to break a window to escape. When he failed to break the window, Villarreal allegedly tried to strike Lagle in the head with the chair.

Graves said at that point, Lagle felt his life was in danger. Lagle drew his service weapon and shot Villarreal.

At least two law enforcement officers were in the hospital at the time of the incident and responded to the deputy’s call for assistance, Graves said. By the time they got to the room, however, the incident was over.

Law enforcement officers and hospital staff tried to revive Villarreal, but he died at the scene.

Graves defended Lagle’s use of deadly force the day after the shooting.

Graves said Lagle had no other choice. If the prisoner had incapacitated the officer and taken his weapon, others in the hospital would have been in danger, he said.

“The inmate brutally attacked a member of our family, of our department,” Graves said. “My deputy did what he had to do.”

While Graves did not indicate what injuries Lagle suffered, he did mention that the deputy suffered a broken nose.

Graves wasn’t the only one talking to the media the day after the accident.

Relatives of Villarreal who spoke to the media included brother-in-law Joseph Verdict and an aunt, Mary Perez. Verdict and Perez spoke to the Regional News about Villarreal.

They said they weren’t notified of their relative’s death until 1 a.m. And the sheriff’s department had not provided them with a consistent time of his death.

“He’s a very good kid,” said Perez. “He made some mistakes.”

Verdict said Villarreal was a talented artist who was very family oriented.

“He was just an all-round good kid,” Verdict said.

The family said Villarreal had a girlfriend in Elkhorn who is expecting a child.

Why was Villarreal in custody?

Villarreal was taken into custody two days prior to the incident. He was a suspect in a drive-by shooting that occurred on Jan. 19 in Elkhorn.

According to court documents, Villarreal allegedly fired a gun at a home on Hartwell Street in Elkhorn. Three others have been charged in the drive-by shooting.

Elkhorn Police Chief Joel Christensen said no one was hurt during the incident, but the home was occupied. Assistant District Attorney Haley Rea said if Villarreal were alive, he would have been charged in the shooting.

On Jan. 29 and 30, the Walworth County District Attorney’s Office filed three felony charges against Cameron M. Casillas, 18, of Milwaukee, Rochele M. Sorg, 19, of Elkhorn, and Sarah M. Brittain, 28, of Elgin, Ill.

All three have been charged with first-degree recklessly endangering safety, use of a dangerous weapon, discharging a firearm from a vehicle toward a building and endangering safety by reckless use of a firearm.

If convicted, each defendant faces up to 35 years imprisonment and $75,000 in fines. Sorg faces an additional misdemeanor charge of resisting or obstructing an officer.

Christensen said there is some indication that the shooting was gang-related, which is based on the previous affiliations of those involved. The investigation into the shooting is ongoing, Christensen said.

Neither Sorg or Casillas have had previous contacts with the Elkhorn Police Department. Brittain was arrested by Elkhorn police in 2008 and later convicted of felony identity theft.

According to the criminal complaint:

On Jan. 19 at 7:50 p.m. officers went to a residence for a report of shots fired at a home.

Police spoke to Alexander Maurizzi and Flavio Giovanni Perez. Maurizzi believed the shooting was a retaliation because he had charges dismissed against him for felony child abuse.

The charges were reportedly filed because of a fight Maurizzi had with Villarreal. Casillas didn’t show up to a Jan. 14 court proceeding and the prosecutor moved to dismiss the case.

On the street outside the home, Elkhorn Police Officer Robert Rayfield located shell casings. Walworth County Sheriff Sgt. Ken Brand saw a bullet entrance hole in the south of the residence. That bullet lodged into an interior wall.

A bullet was fired through a window and another one went through clothing in a closet. A bullet entered Maurizzi’s bedroom, where he was at the time of the shooting, and another bullet entered his grandmother’s bedroom. Three other people were in the home at the time of the shooting.

That night police spoke to Villarreal who said he was with his girlfriend during the shooting. However, police had previously spoken to Villarreal’s girlfriend, who said he had not been with her.

Villarreal then told police he had actually been with Martin Villarreal and Casillas.

On Jan. 24, Sorg told police that Brittain and Casillas picked her up from her home and then they picked up Alfredo Villarreal from his girlfriend’s house. The four of them talked about shooting at Maurizzi’s home. Villarreal was then dropped back off at his girlfriend’s home.

The group then picked up Alfredo and Martin Villarreal. Martin Villarreal has not been charged in the shooting.

Sorg told police that Alfredo Villarreal fired the gun out of the window at Maurizzi’s house and Brittain drove them away.

Sorg told police that they returned to her home in Elkhorn and Villarreal and Casillas wiped the prints off the gun. Casillas told Sorg he buried the firearm in a backyard.

Other legal trouble

On March 21 Villarreal and three others were arrested in Elkhorn after a man was stabbed during a fight. Villarreal faced felony charges in that case and had missed one court appearance.

According to court documents, Villarreal was given a knife during the fight and told police he stabbed a man.