Four defendants in a home invasion homicide in Salem Lakes pleaded not guilty Wednesday.
Augustine Jesus Sanchez, 20; Anthony Lee Harris, 23; Markeith Wilson, 20; and Demarco Hudson, 19, all of Racine, are charged with first-degree homicide, attempted first-degree homicide and four other felonies for the Nov. 15, 2018, home invasion and shooting that left 23-year-old Joseph Riley dead and a 27-year-old Twin Lakes woman severely injured.
The four men are alleged to have targeted Riley because they had heard he would have marijuana and cash and would be “an easy target for a robbery.”
Riley had been robbed at his small rented house on the 31500 block of 71st Street in the Shorewood Terrace neighborhood about two weeks before his death, and had kept a gun since that incident.
The night before Riley was killed, according to the prosecution, most of the group now charged with Riley’s murder had gone to the house with the intention of robbing Riley, but left when he would not open the door.
When they returned on Nov. 15, 2018, according to the criminal complaint, Sanchez stayed in the car while the other three went to the house and kicked in the door, which opened directly into the living room. Riley and at least one of the men exchanged fire.
Riley was killed, his 27-year-old friend was shot and critically wounded. Two other people at the house with Riley were uninjured.
Hudson and Wilson were both shot in the exchange of gunfire.
Each of the four men have been held on $1 million bond since they were charged Nov. 21.
At a brief arraignment hearing Wednesday before Judge Jason Rossell, all four men entered not guilty pleas and requested jury trials.
The state is still awaiting evidence, including DNA analysis and a final autopsy report.
The defendants are next expected to appear in court March 27 for a judicial pretrial hearing.