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.

Amanda J. Lewis, 35, of Wausau. Felony charges filed July 9 include two counts of attempted first-degree intentional homicide, as party to a crime.

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.

Maurice Bell booking photo courtesy of the Wausau Police Department

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.