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RACINE, WI — A Racine man stands accused of homicide in the shooting death of Gilbert Cotton, who was involved in a physical altercation with his fiancée at her residence on Packard Avenue.

Jimmy J. Mumper, 26, was charged Monday, Jan. 23, 2023, with first-degree intentional homicide using a dangerous weapon by the Racine County District Attorney’s Office.

If convicted, Mumper faces life in prison with an additional five years for using a dangerous weapon. Racine County Court Commissioner Alice Rudebush set a $250,000 bond during Mumper’s initial appearance at the Racine County Courthouse.

Police: Gilbert Cotton planned to marry fiancée

According to the criminal complaint, at around 8 p.m. on Jan. 18, Racine County Joint Dispatch sent investigators to a report of a homicide that had taken place in the 1700 Block of Packard Ave. Gilbert Cotton, 24, also of Racine, was found inside the apartment with a gunshot wound. He died at the scene. Two female witnesses identified Mumper as the shooter.

Cotton’s fiancée told police that she and Mumper have three children age five and younger and have known each other for about seven years, the complaint continues. She said she was presently in a relationship with Cotton and another woman, and that she and Cotton were supposed to marry that weekend. He had been living in the apartment with her for about three weeks, and the other woman had been there for nearly two weeks.

Starting that morning, Cotton got physical with the other woman but left the apartment. He got upset when he returned, and saw his fiancée and the other woman lying in bed together. Cotton’s fiancée said that she fell asleep, and when she woke up later that morning, the other woman and Cotton were “fine.” The fiancée said she sent text messages to Cotton, telling him she was leaving him, which started another verbal altercation, the complaint continues.

During the day, Cotton’s fiancée said that Mumper sent her money via a cash app because he owed her money. Because Mumper owed her more money, she told him to bring the rest of it to her at the apartment. According to the criminal complaint, the verbal altercations between Cotton and his fiancee, and the other woman and Cotton continued throughout the day. Cotton left and returned several times. The last time he left the apartment, his suitcase remained by the door, so the fiancée knew he would be back.

Cotton’s fiancée “heard a shot, and that was it”

After Cotton walked away from the residence a third time, Mumper came to the door and entered the apartment, leaving the door open, the complaint reads. Cotton walked in behind him and started yelling at the other woman about staying in the apartment and leaving him alone, the complaint reads. Then, Cotton and his fiancée argued, and she told police he slammed her to the floor and attempted to strangle her.

Cotton’s fiancée didn’t see Mumper take out a gun but “heard a shot, and that was it.” Mumper “always carries a gun,” Cotton’s fiancée told police. She noted that Mumper was bigger than Cotton and that he could have restrained Cotton without a weapon instead, the complaint continues.

The other woman, however, said the fiancée assaulted Cotton. Mumper and the other woman told Cotton to restrain his fiancée.

According to the criminal complaint, the other woman told officers that Cotton never hit his fiancée but he would yell when he was upset. She also said Cotton and Mumper were in a physical altercation a few days before the shooting and that after shooting Cotton, Mumper walked out of the apartment.

Police take Mumper into custody

Mount Pleasant police located Mumper’s car and initiated a traffic stop. They confirmed that Mumper has a license to carry a gun and found an empty gun box in his trunk. Mumper was using an “inside the pants” holster on his right side the evening of the shooting and that killing Cotton was an accident, the complaint continues.

He demonstrated for police how he was going to lift Cotton off of the fiancée but felt his gun and was removing it when it went off and hit Cotton. According to the criminal complaint, Mumper demonstrated for officers how he swung his arm and pulled the trigger. Because the gun was not equipped with a safety, it fired, hitting Cotton.

Mumper will next be in court on Feb. 1 for his preliminary hearing.


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Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for Patch.com, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.

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