Jury Deliberations Continue in Sun Prairie Homicide Case as Verdict Remains Elusive

MADISON, Wis. – A jury in Dane County deliberated late into the night on Thursday without reaching a verdict in the trial of Devonte Gafford, a Sun Prairie man accused of homicide for his alleged role in a shooting at an apartment complex last summer. Gafford is charged with first-degree intentional homicide in the shooting death of Devon Grant. The jury, after six and a half hours of deliberation, indicated that it was deadlocked on the charges. Following this, the Circuit Judge Mario White sent the jury home and ordered them to resume deliberations the next morning.

Throughout the evening, the jury sent notes to Judge White indicating that they were still unable to reach a unanimous decision on the charges. Despite this, Judge White instructed the jury to continue deliberating. Gafford is also facing charges of first-degree reckless endangerment and possession of a firearm by a felon, but the jury also reached a deadlock on these charges.

If convicted of the homicide charge, Gafford could face a mandatory life prison sentence. However, the jury also has the option to find him guilty of second-degree intentional homicide, which carries a maximum sentence of 60 years in prison and extended supervision. Gafford claims that he acted in self-defense during the shooting.

According to the prosecutors, the shooting was a result of retaliation for a robbery that occurred earlier that day. Gafford was allegedly robbed by Grant and three others in a restaurant parking lot. Gafford had brought his children to the restaurant to sell a large quantity of promethazine hydroxide, a prescription antihistamine used to make an illegal drink known as “lean.” Gafford testified that he was not out seeking revenge but happened to be at the apartment complex for unrelated business when shots were fired at his car, leading him and another individual, Mark Parks Jr., to return fire in self-defense.

The defense argued that the robbery was blown out of proportion by the prosecution and that Gafford did not know the identity or whereabouts of the robbers. They claimed that Gafford and Parks only opened fire after their car was disabled by an initial volley of bullets. However, the prosecution presented surveillance video evidence contradicting Gafford’s testimony.

The jury will resume deliberations the following morning, with hopes of reaching a verdict in the case.