APPLETON, Wis. (AP) — A man convicted in a fatal shooting at a suburban Appleton mall was sentenced Tuesday to 40 years in prison.
The outcome in Outagamie County Circuit Court came a year after 18-year-old Dezman Ellis, of Oshkosh, shot and killed Jovanni Frausto during a dispute about a girlfriend at the Fox River Mall’s food court. A bystander, Colt Lemmers, was injured. Ellis fled the mall in a car with friends and was arrested days later in Iowa.
Frausto’s family pleaded with Judge Mark J. McGinnis for a stiff sentence. The victim’s father, Julio Aponte, said the crime continues to haunt the family, WBAY-TV reported.
“Jovanni was the love of my life. I miss him dearly,” Aponte said. “It has been a year and a day my son since was murdered. And the image of his little brother that looked up to him jump on his casket and lay on his chest for the last time just breaks my heart every day.”
The hearing was delayed by a ruckus that resulted in McGinnis ordering an unidentified man out of the courtroom. The judge then worked to gain control over the packed courtroom.
The 19-year-old Frausto suffered a wound to his chest and an exit wound through the back. He was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Ellis had earlier entered no contest pleas to second-degree intentional homicide and first-degree reckless endangering safety.
The shooting on Jan. 31, 2021 drew dozens of law enforcement officers to the mall, some who led shoppers to safety.