The case against the 14-year-old boy accused of shooting his girlfriend last month will move forward.
An ordered stay by the Court of Appeals has been lifted and the defense has the material they say they need to argue that Keller McQuay’s case get moved to juvenile court, online court records confirm.
Vista Jackson, also 14, was shot in the chin with a sawed off shotgun prosecutors say McQuay was holding when it went off. The only witness referenced in McQuay’s criminal complaint says she heard Jackson and McQuay say they loved each other, Jackson told the witness she loved them and then heard a “pop.” McQuay is charged as an adult with first degree reckless homicide, possession of a firearm by a felon and possession of a sawed off shotgun.
His defense lawyer, Katie Gutowski, asked the court to order prosecutors to turn over discovery – the evidence the state has compiled against the defendant – so they can use the information at his preliminary hearing to argue why McQuay’s case should be moved out of adult court. Racine County Circuit Court Judge Michael Piontek agreed with Gutowski, but the state asked the Court of Appeals to intervene.
Appellate court justices blocked Piontek’s decision and in court Wednesday he said he couldn’t schedule McQuay’s preliminary hearing without a written order lifting the stay, a story in The Journal Times reads.
Because state Attorney General Brad Schimel’s office never filed the interlocutory appeal that would have asked the Court of Appeals to actually rule on the matter, Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Tanck-Adams maintained that the lack of action at the appellate level meant the stay was lifted.
An entry in the online court record indicates Piontek was only comfortable extending the time limits on McQuay’s preliminary hearing and scheduled it for Nov. 4. Later entries in the online court record confirm that the Court of Appeals did issue the written order Wednesday afternoon.
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