Jury finds Ward guilty in 2019 homicide of Racine Officer John Hetland

NOW: Jury finds Ward guilty in 2019 homicide of Racine Officer John Hetland

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RACINE, Wis. (CBS 58) – The fate of a man accused of killing an off-duty Racine police officer learned his fate Friday, Sept. 25.

The jury found Dalquavis Ward guilty of first degree intentional homicide, armed robbery, and possession of a firearm by a felon.

Police say Ward shot Officer John Hetland during an armed robbery at Teezers Bar & Grill last June.

Closing arguments wrapped up around 5 o’clock Friday evening. The jury was then sent back for about an hour and a half of deliberation.

Twenty-seven-year-old Ward took the stand during the day and stood by his argument that he was at a birthday party in Racine the night of the shooting.

He claims he never left that home.

Meanwhile, prosecutors argued surveillance video and DNA evidence place Ward at the scene.

Just four days prior to the killing of Officer Hetland, Ward had been released from prison.

All the while, Ward denied being at the scene and purchasing a firearm during those four days.

Outside the courthouse, Racine law enforcement officers stood at attention, lining the steps as patrol cars displayed their lights.

Ward now faces life in prison. Sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 11.


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