When a Milwaukee judge handed down defendant Dedrick Ashford’s sentencing of a year in prison and another year of probation for striking and killing a 6-year-old boy with his car last April, all hell broke loose in the courtroom, reports Fox 6 Now.
The deceased child, Christopher Wade, was crossing an intersection, when Ashford struck him with his vehicle. According to the criminal complaint, the 23-year-old admitted to police that he had not only been smoking marijuana before he got behind the wheel but he also did not have a driver’s license.
After the judge announced Ashford’s sentence, Wade’s family members, who were present in the courtroom, gasped and screamed in reaction to the seemingly lenient punishment that was given to the young man for his crime. Members of Wade’s family had asked the court for the stiffest penalty possible for Ashford and they were angry that their plea fell on deaf ears.
Several of the child’s relatives then stood up, with one yelling out that the sentencing was “bulls*it” and that the defendant was a “murderer,” and stormed out in to the corridor.
Once the Wade family members were in the hallway, a fight broke out: Some of the deceased child’s relatives spotted Ashford’s brother and lunged at him. Sheriff’s deputies, who were reportedly armed with stun guns, tried to break up the melee.
Paramedics were eventually called to the explosive scene, with a couple of deputies becoming injured; one was struck several times on the back of the head and another was injured on her wrist. A reporter even got his camera shoved right in to his face.
Watch the melee here:
Three unidentified people were arrested for their role in the fight.
According to Wade’s grandmother, Patricia Slaten, who was present at the sentencing, taunts inside the courtroom ignited the brawl. The grieving grandmother told Fox 6 Now, “The sentencing was too short. A year? He took the life of a 6-year-old. Dedrick’s brother said some things to some family members of my family that was unacceptable. He made some threats,” Slaten said.
The sheriff’s office is still investigating the fight that ensued outside the courtroom, while Wade’s family members try to come to grips with the trial’s outcome.