The Racine man who fired a gun in 2014 on Main Street and killed another man during an argument about cigarettes will spend the next 30 years behind prison.
Christopher S. Brown, 25, was sentenced Thursday in Racine County Circuit Court by Judge Michael J. Piontek after a jury in May convicted him of second degree reckless homicide and second degree recklessly endangering safety. A felony charge of first degree recklessly endangering safety was dismissed on a motion by defense attorneys, according to online court records.
Brown shot Dulonden Ratliff, 21, of Kenosha, on March 29, 2014. According to the criminal complaint against Brown, Ratliff was with a friend and his sister visiting various establishments on Main Street in Racine. When the group left Envi, 316 Main Street, the friend and the sister both say they were approached by a group of five individuals, including Brown. Someone shouted something like, “What’s up” and then one of the group swung at Ratliff. A fight ensued, during which the friend and the sister say they heard a gunshot. The other group fled, and Ratliff’s sister said that’s when she saw her brother had been shot.
Ratliff was shot in the arm, and the bullet penetrated his chest. He was transported to Wheaton Franciscan St. Mary’s where he was pronounced dead.
During questioning by police, Brown admitted to having a gun and waving it around but said he never meant to pull the trigger or to kill anyone. He told the court the same thing and apologized to Ratliff’s family, a story in The Journal Times reads.
“I am not a career criminal or homicidal person,” he is quoted as saying. “I never had ill intentions to hurt anyone much less killing anyone.”
Piontek was having none of it, though, pointing out that Brown was expelled from Washington Park High School and was known to have gang associations.
“When you get out you will be in your early 50s,” the newspaper quotes Piontek. “Perhaps that will give you the time to reflect on your actions.”