The day Bernard Reavers was shot, Michael Cina walked into friends’ home in Somers with a story about a burglary gone bad.
“Dude tried to be a hero,” Cina told the friend, according to an opening statement by the prosecution at Cina’s trial Monday. “I think the dude is dead. I shot him.”
Cina, 41, of West Allis, is charged with first-degree intentional homicide and armed burglary for the Aug 21, 2017, shooting of Kenosha resident Reavers, a 39-year-old father of three young children.
Deputy District Attorney Angelina Gabriele said Reavers, who died of a gunshot to the head, was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Gabriele said in her opening statement that Cina had targeted Reavers’ upstairs neighbor for a home invasion because he knew she lived alone, sold marijuana and was likely to have cash.
The morning he was shot, Reavers had received a text from his neighbor asking to borrow his vacuum cleaner. The neighbor’s puppy had gotten out of his kennel during the night and made a mess; she hoped to use the vacuum to clean up.
When Reavers went upstairs, Gabriele said, he and the neighbor went into the room to see the damage the puppy had created. That’s when Reavers heard a noise in another room.
“He says, ‘What’s that?’” Gabriele said, and went to investigate.
According to Gabriele, the neighbor “heard a pop and a door slam” and walked into the room to find Reavers lying on the floor, bleeding from the head.
“She panicked,” Gabriele said. “She starts to scream and cry. She’s frantic.”
According to Gabriele, the neighbor looked out to see a man fleeing, catching a glimpse of his face. Two other neighbors, hearing the gunshot and screaming, looked out to see a man leaving the apartment and fleeing in a blue sedan.
Finding the suspect
Garbriele said that months after the shooting, police began focusing on Cina.
She said they interviewed two of Cina’s friends and his wife. All three, she said, told police that Cina spoke about shooting a man during a burglary. She said they will testify at the trial.
The search history on Cina’s wife’s phone, Garbriele said, shows searches for news stories about the shooting in the days after Reavers was shot.
In addition to the statements from the friends and his wife, Gabriele said, Cina is linked to the homicide by DNA on a glove found at the crime scene, by witness descriptions of the man seen fleeing the scene, and by the car seen leaving after the shooting.
Defense Attorney Daniel Mitchell, in his opening statement, cast doubt on the witnesses.
He said Cina’s friends were granted immunity from prosecutors despite having a gun and drugs found in their home during the investigation, and indicated they may have been involved in the crime.
And he said Reavers’ neighbor was a drug dealer who got a glimpse of the man who shot Reavers as he ran from the house but failed to identify Cina in a photo lineup.
The trial will continue today.
After Cina’s trial ends in Kenosha County, he faces a trial in Racine County for a second, unrelated homicide.