Jury finds man accused of killing Officer Matthew Rittner guilty on all counts
Updated: 3:13: p.m. July 12, 2019
MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- After about an hour of deliberating, a jury has found Jordan Fricke guilty on all counts in the death of Milwaukee Police Officer Matthew Rittner.
Fricke, 27, was found guilty of first-degree intentional homicide, two counts of first-degree recklessly endangering safety, and maintaining a drug trafficking place.
Fricke puts head on table as verdict is read. Guilty on all counts pic.twitter.com/NqCA5bL6xw— Tori Bokios (@toribokios) July 12, 2019
Sentencing has been set for August 29.
The Milwaukee Police Department released the following statement following the verdict:
"The Milwaukee Police Department wants to thank all those who were part of this trial. We would like to provide a special thank you to all of the jurors. A guilty verdict does not bring back Officer Rittner, but it does provide some closure to the Rittner family and his law enforcement family.
The Milwaukee Police Department has a great working relationship with the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office and appreciates all of the hard work that was put into prosecuting this tragic incident. The Milwaukee Police Department would also like to thank the members of Wisconsin’s Division of Criminal Investigation for their dedicated work in this investigation. Lastly, the Milwaukee Police Department thanks the community for the overwhelming support it has provided during these trying times."
Updated: 12:04 p.m. July 12, 2019
MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Closing arguments are expected Friday afternoon in the trial for Jordan Fricke.
Fricke took the stand Friday morning and gave his version of what happened the day Officer Matthew Rittner was shot and killed.
Fricke shared that he grew up with his grandmother because his mother died when he was young and his dad wasn't around. He says he bought a gun to protect his house because he says his neighborhood isn't safe and because of a video he saw of former Sheriff David Clarke encouraging people to arm themselves. He says he later started fixing up guns and selling them.
On February 6, Fricke says he woke up to loud bangs on his door and thought someone was shooting through his door. The prosecution argues that Fricke never told detectives this and all the body camera video shows is Fricke saying he thought someone was breaking in, never shooting at him.
Fricke testified that he never heard police announcing themselves.
"That's when another shot hit the door. That's when I was coming in the kitchen and wood flew, and then I put my gun, and that's when the third strike came and flew, and then I shot," said 27-year-old Jordan Fricke.
Closing arguments are expected to start at 12:45 p.m. The case will then be in the hands of the jury. If they find Fricke not guilty of first-degree intentional homicide, they will be able to consider a lesser charge.
Updated: 6:19 p.m. July 11, 2019
MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- The state has rested its case in the trial of 27-year-old Jordan Fricke, the man accused of killing officer Matthew Rittner, but testimony isn't over in the case.
The defense attorney says Jordan Fricke will be testifying Friday.
In court on Thursday, more was learned about why police had a search warrant for his home.
Just two days before officers showed up to search Fricke's home, they had an informant buy $40 worth of marijuana from Fricke.
A Milwaukee police officer testified that the undercover sale and the informant telling police Fricke sold a gun to a felon is some of the evidence police used to get the search warrant.
When officers were working to break down Fricke's door, Fricke fired shots killing Officer Matthew Rittner. After, police continued to search his home but did not find any illegal drugs or illegal guns.
Officers did find drug paraphernalia including bongs and scales, more than $3,000 in cash, several guns, and a number of gun parts all over his house. They also went through his cell phone where they found pictures of guns and marijuana in his home and video of Fricke shooting a gun and rapping about them.
A sergeant testifying Thursday says the search warrant of Fricke's home followed a standard "no-knock" procedure and they've done thousands of search warrants like this.
"Since the tactical enforcement units been around, prior to Matt getting killed, we've only had three officers wounded by gunfire, two officers set on fire," said Milwaukee Police Department Sgt. Daniel Weslowski.
The prosecution also showed video of a search warrant that was happening at the same time as Fricke's across the street that followed the same procedure but ended peacefully.
Closing arguments are expected Friday with the trial picking up at 8:30 a.m.
Updated: 5:47 p.m. July 10, 2019
MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- It was an emotional day in court as the trial for Jordan Fricke continues.
Several officers who were with Officer Matthew Rittner the day he died testified Wednesday. New body camera video was also shown during the third day of the trial.
Prosecutors say Fricke fired four shots as officers served a search warrant at Fricke's home on February 6. One of those shots hit and killed Officer Rittner.
The prosecution called Fricke's girlfriend to the stand. She says she and Fricke were sleeping when they woke to loud bangs.
"I know I heard police and I know I heard search warrant," Fricke's girlfriend Kylie Powell said.
She called it the most traumatic day of her life.
"He said he didn't know, he was in tears almost, saying he thought somebody was breaking into his house. He did not believe it was the police," Powell said.
Fricke's neighbors also testified saying they heard police yelling "police" and "search warrant" on that day.
More witnesses will be called Thursday.
Updated: 6:29 p.m. July 9, 2019
MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Evidence that could be seen and heard was front and center in this second day of the trial for a man charged with killing Milwaukee Police Officer Matthew Rittner.
The jury was taken on a scene visit and new audio and body camera video were played in court.
Jordan Fricke, 27, walked into the courtroom for the first day of testimony wiping his eyes.
Radio traffic played to the jury captured the moments after Fricke fired the shots that killed Officer Matthew Rittner on February 6.
Surveillance video shows Rittner and officers arriving at Fricke's home at 12th and Dakota. Officers were there to serve a search warrant for illegal guns and drugs.
The 15-person jury made a trip to the scene Tuesday where bullet holes remain. The defense argues that Fricke was acting in self-defense.
"Mr. Fricke had an absolute right to be fearful. Because it seemed like he was under attack from an unknown source," defense attorney Michael Chernin said.
But the prosecution disagrees.
"He made an intentional decision to fire his gun four times, knowing full well what the consequences would be," said Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm.
A handful of Milwaukee police officers and Officer Rittner's wife were in the gallery Tuesday. The trial will resume Wednesday morning.
Posted: 6:09 p.m. July 8, 2019
Jordan Fricke is accused of killing 35-year-old Officer Matthew Rittner on Feb. 6. The 17-year police veteran was helping to serve a search warrant for suspected illegal guns and drugs at a Milwaukee duplex when he was killed.
Twenty-seven-year-old Fricke of Milwaukee is charged with four felonies, including first-degree intentional homicide and first-degree recklessly endangering safety. A jury of 15 was selected Monday. He is jailed on $1 million bond.
According to the criminal complaint, police announced their presence several times and said they had a warrant. Rittner made a hole in the door with a battering ram, and Fricke fired four rounds through that hole, striking Rittner in the chest.