By Shereen Siewert
A 16-year-old D.C. Everest High School student is the fourth teen suspect charged in connection with a near-fatal beating of a Wausau boy that police say led to a drive-by shooting days later in downtown Wausau.
Benjamin K. Dickerson, of Kronenwetter, is now being held in a juvenile detention facility on a $150,000 cash bond. He faces charges filed Oct. 25 in Marathon County Circuit Court of child abuse-intentionally causing great bodily harm by use of a dangerous weapon, and a slightly lesser charge of child abuse-intentionally causing harm by use of a dangerous weapon. Both charges are felonies, and Dickerson is being charged as an adult.
Also facing charges in connection with the July 1 incident are 15-year-old Jordan Meyer, 15-year-old Brendan Griffin, and 17-year-old Michael Hrobsky.
Police say the four teens beat a 15-year-old Wausau boy with a baseball bat, leaving him in critical condition. An 18-year-old friend of the victim escaped injury by running away.
Authorities say the incident was the basis for a drive-by shooting in Wausau that happened two days later.
“We believe the victims were targeted by the suspects based upon a perceived association with a related incident that occurred on the evening of Monday, July 1,” Wausau Police Capt. Ben Graham said, in a July statement. the shooting happened just after 2:30 p.m. in the area of North First Street and McIndoe Street. There were no injuries as a result of the shooting.
Following the shooting a suspect vehicle, registered to 35-year-old Amanda J. Lewis, was quickly identified as a vehicle of interest in the shooting and was located in the vicinity of North Sixth Street and Chicago Avenue. Police say the victim in the July 1 beating was a friend of Lewis’ son and was at the Lewis’ home prior to the assault.
Officers seized the vehicle and interviewed several people who were seen leaving the residence, including Lewis, who was arrested Friday, July 5 in connection with the shooting. Lewis is facing charges of attempted first-degree intentional homicide as party to a crime, maintaining a drug trafficking place and obstructing an officer.
A second suspect in the shooting who was on the run for two months, 32-year-old Maurice Bell, was arrested near Dallas, Texas in an unrelated case. Bell faces recommended charges of attempted first degree homicide and possession of a firearm as a felon. Police say Bell drove the vehicle and fired the shots, while Lewis was a passenger in the vehicle. Bell will be extradited to Wisconsin to face those charges at a time yet to be determined.
Lewis is being held in the Marathon County Jail on a $250,000 cash bond. A status conference is set for Nov. 21.
Dickerson is scheduled to appear Nov. 4 at a preliminary hearing in Marathon County Circuit Court, with Judge Greg Huber presiding over the case.