October 21, 2014

Appeals court upholds sentence in baseball bat murder

A Kenosha teen will serve out his 20-year prison sentence for helping beat a woman to death with a baseball bat. A state appeals court ruled on Wednesday that Kawanis Trotter was properly convicted as an adult in the death of a neighbor, 51-year-old Capri Walker.

Trotter was 14 in 2008, when he and Roddee Daniel broke into the victim’s home to steal an X-Box video game system and other items. Daniel beat Walker to death after she woke up. Each told police that the other struck the fatal blow. Trotter struck a plea deal in which he was convicted of felony murder and two counts of burglary. Besides the 20-year prison term, he was ordered to spend seven years under extended supervision when he gets out.

In his appeal, Trotter claimed his case should have been heard in juvenile court – where he could have been freed in about seven years when he turns 25. The Second District Court of Appeals in Waukesha said a delinquency outcome would have undermined the seriousness of the slaying – with the judges noting that Trotter had an extensive criminal record. Trotter’s lawyer plans to appeal to the State Supreme Court. His accomplice Daniel – who’s now 19 – is serving a life term plus five years.