Man sentenced in deadly Milwaukee Burger King shooting
MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- The Burger King employee accused of shooting and killing his teenage co-worker during a staged robbery was sentenced Friday, July 29.
A remorseful Derrick Ellis will serve 12 months in prison for possession of a firearm while being convicted of an out-of-state felony and have four years of probation.
"I'm truly sorry to you, your honor, and to the family that I really didn't mean for this to happen. I was just trying to protect everybody that was there with me, you know, everybody there that was with me was like family," Ellis said.
Ellis shared his feelings of deep regret over shooting and killing 16-year-old Neisha Harris Brazell minutes before his fate was chosen. His family from Michigan was in attendance at the sentencing.
Back in April, Ellis pleaded guilty to a felony gun charge to get rid of murder charges of the teen. Both the state prosecutor and the defense team wanted three years probation.
The judge based his decision off Ellis' character, the circumstances and the needs of the public.
"Mr. Ellis, in my head I keep coming back to, I keep coming back to the fact that you meant well but that if you never had this gun to begin with, this never would've happened," said Milwaukee County Judge Mark Sanders.
Ellis' lawyer argued that he only had heroic intent and he carried a gun as his neighborhood was unsafe.
During a planned robbery at the Burger King on Capitol Drive in January 2022, Ellis was an employee there at the time.
From a criminal complaint, Ellis was armed and confronted a man named Antoine Edwards, who was attempting to rob a cashier through the drive-thru window -- killing Harris Brazell during the crossfire.
"He has a gun and he takes his gun and he kind of comes around the corner and he takes very, makes a very poor decision to shoot from a position that one ought not shoot one handed," said the state prosecutor.
Edwards told police that he, his 16-year-old daughter, and Brazell all coordinated the staged robbery. The state says Harris Brazell had no involvement.
"It will be my sentence that you serve a total term in Wisconsin State Prison ten years composed of five years initial confinement, five years of extended supervision. I'm going to stay that sentence and I'm going to place you on four years of probation," Judge Sanders said.
The judge imposed conditions such as no possession of any kind of weapon, maintain full-time employment and receive his GED or HSE.
If Ellis does not follow his probation rules, he faces up to ten years in prison.