The 20-year-old man charged with shooting three people earlier this year at the Bray Center is facing a fresh felony charge after officers say he contacted a witness and asked them to change their story.
Zerell Strong, of Racine, was charged Wednesday in Racine County Circuit Court with one felony count of attempted intimidation of a witness and a misdemeanor count of contempt. If convicted, he could get an additional 11 years in prison on top of the possible 92 years he’s already facing for the Bray Center shooting last March.
Strong was charged April 1 with three felony counts of first degree reckless injury and three felony counts of bail jumping after police say he opened fire inside the George Bray Center and injured three people just a few days after being released from jail.
During his initial appearance, Strong was ordered to have no contact – either by phone or any other means – with anyone other than his attorney. That order was later modified to allow contact with his mother.
According to the criminal complaint, the new charges stem from a letter Strong sent in August to a witness asking that person to contact another witness about recanting their statement to police.
“Tell her to just tell the police it was a mistake she made it up,” the letter is quoted in the complaint. “So could you get the word out for me please … the sooner the better, I could get rite (sic) out … they don’t know who did it.”
Strong’s letter also includes instructions on how the recipient can reply without jail staff being any the wiser, the complaint reads.
Strong is already being held in the Racine County Jail on a $100,000 cash bond for the March shooting plus an additional $5,000 for the new charges.
His jury trial for the shooting is scheduled to begin January 3, 2017.