UPDATE: Verdict In Deadly Shooting

UPDATED Tuesday, June 15, 2010 --- 3:51 p.m.

A teenager accused of shooting and killing another Madison teen has been found guilty.

A jury delivered that verdict today for 17-year-old Deandre Bernard.

Police say Bernard, along with Kendrick Briggs, shot and killed 17-year-old Karamee "Pig" Collins on Balsam Road last June.


UPDATED Thursday, June 25, 2009 --- 12:10 p.m.

A teenager, accused of shooting and killing another Madison teen, is bound over for trial.

16-year-old Deandre Bernard was in court today for his preliminary hearing.

Bernard is accused, along with Kendrick Briggs, of murdering 17-year-old Karamee "Pig" Collins on Balsam Road earlier this month.

According to a criminal complaint, the teens were part of a gang known as the "Cutty Mac Boys."

The complaint further alleges that the shooting may have stemmed from a confrontation in February between Collins and the gang.


UPDATED: Friday, June 12, 2009 --- 3:20 p.m.

Bail has been set at $500,000 each for two teens charged in the murder of a 17-year-old.

Deandre Bernard and Kendrick Briggs were in a Dane County courtroom this afternoon.

The 16-year-olds were arrested Wednesday on charges of first degree intentional homicide in the shooting death of Karamee Collins Junior.

A criminal complaint says the shooting stemmed from a fight between the boys earlier this year.

According to a criminal complaint witnesses told police Deandre Bernard had the gun and fired shots in Collins direction.

An autopsy showed Collins was shot in the back once and died from internal bleeding.

An officer found 10 shell casings at the scene.

According to the complaint Briggs told police he took the gun after Bernard fired the shots and hid it in a storage locker.

Witnesses told police Bernard and Briggs told them before the shooting, "We are going to get him (Collins)." Those witnesses say the boys were after Collins because of a confrontation earlier in the year where Collins punched Briggs and they argued about being in a gang.


UPDATED Friday, June 12, 2009 --- 3:15 p.m.

Bail has been set at $500,000 each for two teens charged in the murder of a 17-year-old.

Deandre Bernard and Kendrick Briggs were in a Dane County courtroom this afternoon.

The 16-year-olds were arrested Wednesday on charges of first degree intentional homicide in the shooting death of Karamee Collins Junior.

A criminal complaint says the shooting stemmed from a fight between the boys earlier this year.


UPDATED Thursday, June 11, 2009 --- 4:30 a.m.

The Madison Police Department has arrested the following suspects in this homicide. This remains a very active investigation. Both of the suspects have been booked into the Dane County Jail as adults. A third person has been arrested for Possessing a firearm by Juvenile and turned over to Juvenile authorities.

Deandre J Bernard, age 16, of Madison, WI - First Degree Intentional Homicide, Party to a Crime.

Kendrick NMI Briggs, age 16, of Madison - First Degree Intentional Homicide, Party to a Crime.


UPDATED Wednesday, June 10, 2009 -- 9:15 p.m.

Tonight a vigil was held for Karamee just a few feet from where he struggled to stay alive.

"He was a good boy. A very good boy."

Family, friends and loved ones met on Madison's west side to remember the 17-year old young man who's life was cut short late Tuesday night.

"My grandson did not deserve to die the way he died."

Maxine Bender remembers her step-grandson as smart, athletic and kind. She says he'll be missed by everyone. "Y'all be strong. Because everything happens for a reason."

One by one, people shared feelings, sang songs and took turns consoling Karamee's parents and one another.

"If he was a bad person they wouldn't be over here."

Karamee's father, Karamee Collins Sr., says his son wasn't into drugs, wasn't in a gang and was a good kid. He says the loss is tragic. But, he's comforted because he knows his son is safe now.

"He all right. And me as a parent I know he in a better place and I ain't gotta worry about none of this no more."

Karamee's stepmother, Laquisha Bender, was also there Wednesday night.

She made a desperate plea to our cameras for justice. "He was brutally murdered last night on this corner right here. Shot down like he was a dog. Would y'all please help us solve this crime."

Now, we know that plea may have been answered. Police do have some suspects in custody.

Karamee had a two year old child of his own.


UPDATED Wednesday, June 10, 2009 --- 6:30 p.m.

Madison Police say Karamee Collins, Jr., was shot in the 2-thousand block of Leland Drive, then ran toward nearby Balsam Road, where he collapsed.

Collins was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Loved ones organized a memorial for Collins Wednesday night, many are still in shock over who would have wanted Collins dead.

"You see a lot of bad kids walking down here... but that wasn't that kid, wasn't that kid," Mark Parks lives along Balsam Road, near where 17-year-old Karamee Collins, Jr. collapsed Tuesday night.

Parks remembers the teen as a good kid, who watched out for Parks's 13-year-old daughter.

"He'd come by, say man, I seen your daughter over there on Theresa around .. certain bad guys, fast boys, He was a good big brother role to her," says Parks.

Collins lived in a home on Theresa Terrace, where loved ones say his father and stepmom also live.

"He was the oldest, like I said, I guess he'd grab the younger kids... Let's do something, let's toss the ball."

Police have released few details about the shooting, how many shots were fired or a possible motive, but say they have "good leads" in the case.

Investigators also believe the shooting was not random. Collins was targeted.

"Last I did talk to him was Monday ... said he was going home to be with his mom in Chicago."

Back on Balsam Road, a woman who helped raise the teen, better known as Pig, says he was at her home earlier Tuesday evening, having dinner and watching basketball.

She has no idea who'd want to harm him.

"He wasn' t a typical teen, walking down here ... he'd
say something positive.. to kids out here, He wasn't a bad kid, don't see how something like this can happen to him."

Police say this shooting is not related to series of shootings police talked about Monday.


UPDATED Wednesday, June 10, 2009 --- 6:16 p.m.

Mayor Dave Cieslewicz made the following statement today regarding violence on Madison’s Southwest side:

“First, I want to express my deep sadness about the tragedy that happened last night. My thoughts go out to the family, friends and community.

“We are an exceptionally safe city and we take these acts of violence - tragic and uncommon as they are - as an affront to our entire community. Public safety continues to be our top priority. And we must continue our broad, comprehensive approach to address it.

“We have made significant strides in addressing public safety as a community. Since 2003, we have added 54 police officers that have been deployed throughout the city.

"We have added neighborhood officers, specifically in neighborhoods on the southwest side. In addition to providing additional police services, these neighborhood officers have worked hard to reduce anonymity in the neighborhoods by organizing safety walks and neighborhood picnics aimed at connecting neighbors.

"We have added an additional gang officer. We have added four crime analysts. We have adopted a Chronic Nuisance Ordinance that is having a substantial impact on problematic landlords throughout the city, including the southwest side.

"We have developed an outstanding relationship with the Madison Metropolitan School District. We are jointly working to maintain and improve safety and quality of life in our schools and throughout our community by implementing Metro safety enhancements and posting Education Resource Officers to specific schools.

"We also worked with the school district to open the new Meadowood Neighborhood Center. We’ve launched a pilot of our Neighborhood Indicators and are launching it full scale later this year. Neighborhood Indicators is a battery of measures designed to serve as an early warning system in measuring the health and vitality of a neighborhood.

“But, there is more to be done. We need to address the access and availability of handguns. Last night’s tragedy resulted in one teenager killed with a handgun. This is abhorrent and unacceptable.

"We need to recognize that many of the issues surrounding violent behavior in our community are not solvable by the police or government alone. We need defined community standards that are enforced first by the community and, when necessary, by the police.

"We need to continue to find ways to reduce anonymity and build a sense of community throughout our neighborhoods. Anonymity leads to misperceptions. Misperceptions lead to fear.

* We need to temper anecdotal fear with facts. Our city is exceptionally safe and our schools are some of the best public schools in the country.

“To these ends, I will convene a meeting in my office with neighborhood leaders, alders, school officials, police and community leaders to address public safety concerns in our community.”


UPDATED Wednesday, June 10, 2009 --- 6:04 p.m.

Updated information from Madison Police:

As of 5:00pm today, Madison Police Department detectives have detained suspects who are believed to have been involved in the homicide. We also believe that we have recovered the weapon that was used in the incident.

The investigation is going extremely well and arrests in this case are forthcoming. There will be further updates as things progress further in this investigation.


UPDATED Wednesday, June 10, 2009 11:04 a.m.

Dane County Coroner identifies the victim as:

KARAMEE COLLINS, JR., 17, of Madison, WI.

An autopsy is scheduled for the afternoon of 06/10/09.

The family of the decedent has asked that the media and the public respect their privacy during their period of grief.

This incident is under investigation by the City of Madison Police Department and the Dane County Coroner’s Office.

No further information will be released at this time.


Updated Wednesday, June 10, 2009--8:30 AM

Updated Incident Report from Madison Police Department:

Around 10:15 p.m. last night, Madison Police were called to the 2000 block of Leland Drive following a shooting.

A male in his late teens, who lived in the general area, was found mortally wounded.

Case detectives say this was not a random crime, that the victim was targeted.

He was shot in the 5800 block of Balsam Road, and ran 50 to 75 yards before collapsing.

Officers are in the process of gleaning information from the victim’s family, friends, and witnesses.

This crime is not believed to be linked to the series of shootings that were the subject of Monday's news conference.


Posted Tuesday, June 9, 2009 --- 11:13 p.m.
Updated Wednesday, June 10, 2009 --- 3:45 a.m.

Madison Police confirm they are now investigating a homicide.

A man was shot Tuesday evening on the 2000 Block of Leland Drive. According to Madison.com, the man then ran about 100 yards before collapsing in the 5800 block of Balsam Road.

The man was pronounced dead at a local hospital.

As of 3:45 a.m., no one is in custody for the shooting.

More information will be released later this morning.

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