Man sentenced to eight years for role in Downtown shooting that wounded one

September 8, 2018

A man who took part in a Downtown Madison shooting in February, in which a man mistakenly believed to be a member of a rival gang was shot and left with permanent injuries, was sentenced Friday to eight years in prison.

Xavier D. Davis, 22, of Madison, drove the car that he and three other people used to follow Michael Coleman on Feb. 6 from the South Side to the 700 block of West Washington Avenue. One of his passengers, Darrick R. Thompson, then walked up to Coleman’s car and fired nearly 10 times, hitting Coleman but somehow missing a female passenger.

Prosecutors said Thompson, Davis and the others are members of the Mickey Cobras gang and believed Coleman was a member of a rival gang. But investigators found no evidence that Coleman was a member of any gang.

In July a jury found Thompson guilty of attempted first-degree intentional homicide and first-degree reckless endangerment. Davis and others who were in the car testified at Thompson’s trial. Davis pleaded guilty to first-degree reckless injury in a deal in which prosecutors agreed not to ask for more than eight years in prison, which is what Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne asked for on Friday.

Thompson is scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 28.

Ozanne said that before his arrest in the shooting case, Davis had been on the Madison Police Department’s Special Investigations Unit list of serious repeat offenders and had been warned in June 2017 that when he committed his next crime, “we would have no ability to work with him, and only argue for the maximum.”

But he said in this case, Davis was not the shooter and didn’t handle a firearm, so “we thought we could offer him this agreement.”

Davis’ lawyer, state Assistant Public Defender Stan Woodard, asked for probation or a short prison sentence. He said that any sentence that Davis received would have consequences not only for Davis, who would be marked as a “snitch,” but also for his four children.

But Dane County Circuit Judge John Hyland said it was apparent Davis wasn’t thinking about the interests of his children when he went out that night with the other men and followed Coleman’s car before the shooting occurred. The sentence he gave Davis, Hyland said, was based solely on what he did, which Hyland said was the kind of violence the community finds “intolerable.”

In a victim impact statement filed with the court last month, Coleman wrote that after the shooting “I had to move and leave behind all my friends and family cause of this (expletive) I had nothing to do with.”

One of his hands, he wrote, “feels like a thousand bees and knifes stabbing me.” He also wrote that he can’t walk the same anymore, and that the right side of his body now feels numb. His nerves burn, he wrote, when he is exposed to hot water or warm weather.

“All I ask is: Why me?” he wrote. “I didn’t deserve this (expletive) at all.”

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