Wis. man faces trial for shooting teenage neighbor


Wis. man faces trial for shooting teenage neighbor

By Associated Press. CREATED Jul 16, 2013 - UPDATED: Jul 16, 2013

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Fourteen jurors have been selected to hear the case of a 76-year-old white Milwaukee man accused of gunning down a 13-year-old black boy last year over a theft allegation.

The overall pool of prospective jurors contained four black people, but the defense removed three of them.

Prosecutor Mark Williams told the judge he wasn't pleased about that. 

John Henry Spooner is accused of killing his neighbor, Darius Simmons, on a sidewalk near their homes. Prosecutors say Spooner suspected Simmons of breaking into his home and stealing guns.

A Milwaukee police officer testifying in the trial says the man offered an unsolicited confession as he was being handcuffed.

Officer Richard Martinez said he saw 76-year-old John Henry Spooner standing on the sidewalk holding a handgun.

He says he told Spooner to drop the weapon, and Spooner bent over and placed the gun on the sidewalk. Martinez says as he handcuffed him, Spooner said, "Yeah I shot him."

Spooner's defense attorney acknowledges his client shot the boy, whom he accused of stealing from him. But he says the questions at trial will be Spooner's intent and mental illness.

Defense attorney Franklyn Gimbel says he'll argue Spooner didn't intend to kill the teen.