The man accused of killing 19-year-old Khaled Alchaar outside a restaurant in Pleasant Prairie pleaded guilty Tuesday.
Shawn Amelio Sr., 45, of Kenosha, pleaded guilty to second-degree reckless homicide, first-degree recklessly endangering safety and conspiracy to deliver THC.
He faces up to 38 years in prison.
Alchaar was shot to death in a parking lot in the 10300 block of 77th Street on May 20, 2019.
Amelio and his daughter Christina Amelio, 19, were charged in October based on an investigation by Pleasant Prairie Police, who focused on the Amelios after security video from the restaurant showed their vehicle leaving the parking lot shortly after the shooting.
Christina Amelio pleaded guilty Tuesday to two charges related to dealing marijuana. She could be sentenced to up to 9½ years in prison.
‘The best we can get’
Alchaar’s brother Anas Alchaar said the family does not accept the Amelios’ version of what led to the shooting — they claimed Khaled tried to rob them at gunpoint — but said he is satisfied with the plea agreement.
“Based on the storyline that, unfortunately, we have to work with, which is their side of the story, this is the best outcome,” he said, saying prosecutors met with the family several times before making the deal. “This is the best we can get at this point.”
On the day Alchaar died, Shawn Amelio told investigators he had driven his daughter Christina to the parking lot, where she had arranged to meet Alchaar to sell him marijuana.
The Amelios say Alchaar pulled a gun and attempted to rob them. According to the criminal complaint, Amelio then shot Alchaar, who ran away from their vehicle.
The wounded teenager called his brother, who called 911, then drove to the parking lot and found Alchaar. Khaled died at the hospital shortly after the shooting.
According to the criminal complaint, a family that was in the parking lot at the time of the shooting saw a man who appeared to be Amelio standing outside a vehicle and saw Alchaar running. The recklessly endangering safety charge is tied to that family, with Amelio charged for endangering the family by firing a gun near them.
Pleasant Prairie Police began focusing on the Amelios because security video from a nearby restaurant showed their vehicle leaving the parking lot immediately after the shooting.
Investigation a ‘team effort’
The case included what defense attorneys characterized during hearings as more than 1,000 pages of evidence, including electronic data and messages.
Police Chief David Smetana praised the work of his department’s detectives in getting access to and wading through electronic data, including electronic messages, that helped build the case.
He said support from the Kenosha County District Attorney’s Office and the Kenosha Police also aided in the investigation.
“That team effort really paid off,” Smetana said. “I was extremely confident that we would come to some justice in this case, and I think that’s what happened here.”
At the plea hearing Tuesday, District Attorney Michael Graveley said that as part of the agreement the state will ask that the Amelios be sentenced to prison, but will not ask for a specific number of years.
“My hope is that they both get the maximum, of course, but I understand that’s not how things work,” Anas Alchaar said. “I hope the right thing is done to help my parents move on and help us move on.”
Both the Amelios are scheduled to be sentenced April 13.
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