Two of three charged in the shooting death of Laylah Petersen plead not guilty

MILWAUKEE — 24-year-old Paul Farr and  20-year-old Carl Barrett, two of three men charged in the shooting death of Laylah Petersen, entered pleas of not guilty and were bond over for trial on Wednesday, October 28th.

The three people charged in this case are: 24-year-old Paul Farr, 20-year-old Carl Barrett and 23-year-old Arlis Gordon. Police say Farr and Barrett were arrested on October 14th in Milwaukee. Gordon was arrested in suburban Chicago on October 17th on unrelated charges.

Farr has been charged with two counts of harboring/aiding a felon.  Barrett and Gordon have both been charged with first degree reckless homicide–party to a crime.

Laylah Petersen would have turned six years old on September 23rd. But her young life was cut short when she was shot while she was sitting on her grandfather’s lap inside a home near 58th and Fairmount on November 6, 2014.

Petersen died at the hospital, as a result of two gunshot wounds to her head. Her death was ruled a homicide.

A criminal complaint filed against the three men charged in this case says Arlis Gordon was in court on November 6th, 2014 as a jury was deliberating in a homicide case. The complaint indicates Gordon was the homicide victim’s “brother.”

The complaint says during a break in the court proceedings, Gordon contacted a man and asked him to lend Gordon a firearm. Then, Gordon — accompanied by Barrett, met the man at Farr’s home, and the man gave Gordon a firearm.

According to the complaint, the firearm was a “unique looking 9mm semi-automatic handgun, green in color, with a camouflage pattern on it.”

Late on the afternoon of November 6th, 2014, the jury deliberating in the homicide case acquitted the man facing charges — issuing a not guilty verdict.

Police say following the verdict, a man reported he ran into Gordon near Sherman and Villard — and said Gordon was “very upset,” and intoxicated. That man indicated Gordon was talking about his brother’s killer, and that he stated: “He killed my brother and he’s getting out! This can’t be going on. I’m gonna do something about it.”

The complaint says around dusk on November 6th, Gordon called Farr and told them “they could come get the gun.” Shortly thereafter, Farr, Barrett and another man got into Farr’s vehicle and drove to a location where Gordon’s family was gathering after the jury’s verdict was heard.

Eventually, Gordon got into Farr’s vehicle — and the men drove towards a location referred to as “Baby Girl’s house.”

At one point during this ride, the complaint indicates Gordon asked that the vehicle stop, because he had to pick something up. Cell phone records showed at this point in time, Farr’s phone was located very close to the scene of the homicide of Laylah Petersen (58th and Fairmount.)

Within seconds, Barrett and Gordon got back into the vehicle — and Farr drove away.

The men continued driving towards “Baby Girl’s house” on 42nd Street. There, the complaint indicates two firearms were placed on a table, and Barrett and Gordon began talking about the shooting, with Gordon telling the group: “I emptied the whole clip! We lit the whole (expletive) up!”

The complaint indicates the fourth man who was with Gordon, Barrett and Farr on November 6th told investigators he encountered Barrett in jail — and Barrett told the man that “they meant to hit the house of Gordon’s brother’s killer, or the house where his baby’s mama stays, but that they shot into the wrong house.” Police say Gordon asked that the man “keep his mouth shut.”

The home of Gordon’s brother’s killer’s girlfriend is four blocks from the scene of the homicide (at 54th and Fairmount), according to police.

But there was a fourth man — a man who hasn’t been charged in this case, who was there when Laylah Petersen was shot while sitting on her grandfather’s lap in a home at 58th and Fairmount.

Prosecutors say this man used the weapon that was used to kill Petersen in his own shooting spree.