Three Milwaukee men charged in killing of 5-year-old girl

Reuters News
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Posted: Oct 20, 2015 4:46 PM

By Brendan O'Brien

MILWAUKEE (Reuters) - Three Milwaukee men accused of targeting the wrong house in a revenge shooting last year were charged on Tuesday in the death of a 5-year-old girl as she sat on her grandfather's lap watching television, police said.

Arlis Gordon, 23, and Carl Barrett, 20, were charged with first degree reckless homicide and Paul Farr, 24, was charged with two counts of harboring and aiding a felon in the fatal shooting of Laylah Petersen in 2014, according to a criminal complaint filed in Milwaukee County Circuit Court.

Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn told a news conference the men were seeking revenge for a jury's acquittal in November 2014 of a man who was accused of killing Gordon's step-brother.

After the verdict, Farr drove Gordon and Barrett to a house where they thought the defendant's girlfriend lived, Flynn said. Gordon and Barrett got out of the car four blocks from the intended target and fired into the wrong house, he said.

The barrage of gunfire fatally wounded Petersen while she was sitting on her grandfather Robert Fogl's lap watching television in the living room, the complaint said.

Flynn pulled a large button with a photograph of the girl from his shirt pocket in announcing the charges on Tuesday.

"I've been carrying something around with me, and it's Laylah," Flynn said. "I'd like to think we can put her to rest now."

Barrett and Gordon could be sentenced to up to 60 years in prison if convicted and Farr up to 10 years in prison.

The men were arrested over the past week after police heard stories linking the three to the shooting. They are now in custody.

(Reporting by Brendan O'Brien in Milwaukee)