MILWAUKEE — Jordan Fricke, 27, has been convicted of first-degree intentional homicide in the February shooting death of Milwaukee Police Officer Matthew Rittner.
The jury reportedly deliberated for little more than an hour before returning with a guilty verdict Friday afternoon.
Fricke testified Friday that he believed he heard gunshots at his door and fired an assault-style weapon in self-defense. But Rittner was actually using a battering ram to serve a search warrant on Fricke’s home. Fricke and his attorney have said he dropped the gun and surrendered once he realized it was officers.
Prosecutors have said Fricke had to know it was police because they loudly announced their presence.
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According to a published report, Fricke said he bought a gun in 2013 for protection, after then-Sheriff David Clarke Jr. told residents to arm themselves because police were slow to respond.
During closing arguments Friday, Fricke’s attorney questioned the basis for the search warrant and said that no drugs or illegal guns were found. Attorney Michael Chernin said his client was “scared senseless” and the no-knock warrant caused “chaos” and Fricke couldn’t hear police shouts over the sound of his barking dogs.
But Assistant District Attorney Grant Huebner said Fricke’s girlfriend, who was in the house at the time, said she heard the officers shouting.
WISN-TV reported that Fricke, who faces a possible life sentence, wept as the verdict was read. He also was convicted of two counts of recklessly endangering safety.