State agent wants Dane Co. DA recused in Quadren Wilson shooting case

A preliminary hearing for the state agent charged in the shooting of Quadren Wilson was postponed Wednesday after a motion was filed.
Published: Dec. 7, 2022 at 6:19 PM CST|Updated: Dec. 7, 2022 at 7:01 PM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - A preliminary hearing for the state agent charged in the shooting of Quadren Wilson was postponed Wednesday after a motion was filed to recuse the Dane County District Attorney’s Office from the case.

Mark Wagner is accused of second-degree recklessly endangering safety with use of a dangerous weapon for the Feb. 3 shooting of Wilson during his arrest.

The motion attempts to recuse Dane Co. District Attorney Ismael Ozanne or any of his assistants from prosecuting the case because Wagner’s attorneys allege they have a conflict of interest. They also argue that the district attorney’s office are material witnesses in the investigation and arrest of Wilson.

Mark Wagner is accused of second-degree recklessly endangering safety- use of a dangerous weapon.
Mark Wagner is accused of second-degree recklessly endangering safety- use of a dangerous weapon.(Dane County Sheriff's Office)

The motion states that a DCI special agent was investigating a large-scale cocaine trafficker, identified in the motion with the initials XXX, in early 2020 for allegedly selling drugs in Dane County and other locations. The document notes that the unnamed agent worked with the Dane County DA’s Office to get court-approved wiretaps for the investigation, which later helped them learn about the alleged drug dealer, his sources and his customers.

The motion alleges that Wilson was identified as a regular customer of the unnamed drug trafficker and routinely had firearms with him during drug transactions and while traveling in vehicles.

According to the motion, it states six individuals identified in the investigation into XXX were indicted in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin. This includes XXX, Wilson, two customers of XXX and XXX’s source. The Dane Co. DA’s Office has not charged any of these individuals in this investigation.

The defense listed several other instances where the Dane County DA’s Office was involved in investigations into Wilson, including a manufacturing/delivering narcotics charge that Wilson later pleaded guilty to.

In a response from the State, prosecutors asked the judge to deny the motion and argued the facts of the case support the charge.

University of Wisconsin Law School Professor John Gross said he’s not convinced this motion is grounds for recusal. He said the DA’s assistants were not at the scenes of these alleged crimes, therefore couldn’t called as witnesses.

“It’s not necessary to call them [Dane County district attorneys]. In fact, they are not the relevant witness because everything that they would testify to is hearsay. They heard it from someone else,” Gross said. “The witnesses that are the relevant witnesses are the other members of law enforcement who had some personal knowledge about Mr. Wilson’s activities.”

Gross the judge will decide next whether or not the recusal request warrants a hearing or the judge could simply deny the request.

Alleged involvement in Anisa Scott case

The motion also details that Wilson was believed to be at the scene of the 2020 killing of 11-year-old Anisa Scott.

The Madison Police Department previously indicated that Anisa was not likely the intended target and that the suspects had been shooting at the driver.

The defense’s motion states that Madison law enforcement said that the driver of the vehicle Anisa was in, Christopher Carthans, and Wilson knew one another and were suspected of committing several armed robberies of rival drug traffickers in Madison. The document alleged that the pair were targeted by rival drug traffickers because of a previous armed robbery of drugs and noted both had a “hit” put out on them because of the incident.

The document alleges that Wilson was possibly in a separate vehicle during the day of the shooting and may have gotten rid of firearms that were originally at the scene.

State asks court to deny the motion

The State laid out its argument for asking a judge to deny the motion.

“The defendant’s motion misunderstands the concept of self-defense and when it should be properly raised,” the State said. “Self-defense is a privilege that is decided by a jury- the defendant seems to agree as his memorandum cites to jury instructions to support his claim.”

The State also said that some of Wagner’s arguments will be left up to the jury to decide.

“To the state’s knowledge in its review of the defendant’s Memorandum, the defendant cites to no cases that involve a court taking up a fact finding role at a pretrial stage on the issue of self-defense; the State further believes that no such case exist. It is simply not yet time to decide any issues of self-defense.”

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