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Dominique Knight

Dominique Knight enters the courtroom for an evidentiary hearing on Friday. He is charged with the 2017 homicide of Harry Canady Jr., who was shot on his girlfriend's porch. Donte Shannon, who was fatally shot by police in January, had been one of the key witnesses. Shannon's testimony will not be used as evidence in the case.

RACINE — Testimony from Donte Shannon — the man fatally shot by police in January — will not be used as evidence in the homicide case against Dominique Knight, which is scheduled to go to trial in July. 

Knight is charged with first-degree intentional homicide for the death of Harry Canady Jr., who was found shot dead on the porch of his girlfriend’s home in May 2017. He’s also being charged for use of a dangerous weapon and possession of a firearm by a felon.

Shannon reportedly drove Knight to the scene and fled after Knight shot Canady.

Shannon was shot and killed by Racine Police Investigator Chad Stillman and Officer Peter Boeck in January. Racine County District Attorney Tricia Hanson announced in March that her office would not press charges against the officers. 

At an evidentiary hearing on Friday, prosecutor Maureen Martinez withdrew a motion to use Shannon’s testimony, citing case law regarding the Confrontation Clause of the Sixth Amendment.

The Confrontation Clause stipulates that the defendant in a criminal trial has the right to confront witnesses against them. In 2004 the Supreme Court, in Crawford v. Washington, stated that cross-examination is required for testimonial statements including in cases where the witness has since become unavailable.

Shannon's testimony 

Shannon’s testimony was a substantial portion of the criminal complaint against Knight. 

According to the criminal complaint, Shannon reportedly drove Knight to Memorial Drive after Knight received a phone call.

Shannon told police that Knight was quiet throughout the ride and that he didn’t think Knight would do anything to Canady when Knight first approached him. He saw Knight poke Canady in the face area, according to the complaint, and ask “Where’s my money at? You got my money?”

Canady reportedly said he didn’t have it. Knight then leaned back as though he were going to punch Canady, which is when, Shannon said, he realized Knight had a gun. Knight allegedly shot Canady, Shannon told police. 

“The next thing he realized was that ‘Harry dropped. He just dropped,’ ” the complaint states.

Neither Martinez nor Hanson were available on Friday to comment regarding the removal of Shannon's testimony and its affect the case.

Knight’s final pre-trial hearing is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. on July 13. His jury trial is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. on July 23.

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Christina Lieffring covers the Burlington area and the Village of Caledonia. Before moving to Racine, she lived in Nebraska, Beijing, Chicago and grew up in Kansas City.

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