RACINE — New details emerged, including a potential third suspect, Wednesday during the preliminary hearing of one of two suspects charged for their reported role in the death of 19-year-old Jose Angel Padilla.
Racine Police Investigator Don Nuttall said a witness told police that on May 22, 18-year-old Christopher S. Webster — who is charged with first-degree intentional homicide as a party to a crime in Angel Padilla’s death — invited the witness to come over to his home in the 1200 block of Center Street to listen to music and smoke marijuana in his basement. The witness brought Angel Padilla with him.
Nuttall said the witness told police he got an “eerie” feeling when he, Webster and Angel Padilla were hanging out in the basement because Webster was constantly on his phone, so the two decided to leave.
When he and Angel Padilla got to the top of the basement stairs, Dashawn Ellison, 17 — who is charged with first-degree intentional homicide and possession of a firearm by an adjudicated delinquent — reportedly emerged from the kitchen door near the top of the stairs with a shotgun.
Nuttall said another person, a 15-year-old boy, was with Ellison. As of Wednesday, that boy had not been charged.
The witness made it outside through a door; however, Angel Padilla was fatally shot in the back.
Nuttall said that Ellison told police that Webster had set up a “lick,” a street slang term for a robbery. Nuttall said that Ellison told police that Ellison, Webster and another suspect planned the robbery in the basement before the witness and Angel Padilla came over.
Assistant District Attorney Diane Donohoo asked Court Commissioner Alice Rudebusch to bind Webster over on the charges. However, attorney Adrian Moore from the Public Defender’s Office objected, instead asking to dismiss the case.
“Given the fact that there is not a plan to kill someone, there was no discussion about killing someone, that Mr. Webster wouldn’t even know that Jose would have even been coming over to his residence, there can be no plan, no intent to kill Jose, so we believe that the matter should be dismissed,” Moore said.
Donohoo said that during the preliminary hearing phase, the state only needs to prove that a felony was committed— not which felony was committed.
“You can tell that the information keeps coming in, and the record has clearly reflected, at very minimum, the robbery, attempted armed robbery, felony murder,” Donohoo said. “Whether the state ultimately chooses to go ahead on a charge of intentional homicide for this particular defendant remains to be seen, but the state has clearly shown probable cause of at least one felony.”
Rudebusch said there was “sufficient” testimony to determine that a felony was committed and said there was a “concerted effort” between the defendant and co-defendant.
Webster is scheduled to be formally charged during his arraignment hearing, which is scheduled for June 26 at the Law Enforcement Center, 717 Wisconsin Ave.
Ellison has not yet been assigned an attorney, so his hearing was rescheduled until Wednesday, June 12, at the Law Enforcement Center.