RACINE, Wis. (AP) – A Racine man has been convicted for his role in a 2005 triple homicide that stemmed from a dispute over an allegedly rigged dice game at a bar.
A jury convicted Demetrus N. Ozier, 32, on Friday in the killings of Aaron Woods and Ryan Lockridge and the wounding of four others on July 17, 2005, in Racine, the Journal Times reported.
Woods, Lockridge and a third man, Frank Mister, were killed in a parking lot early that morning. The alleged target was another man, Willie Ward, who authorities said wouldn’t return Ozier’s money.
Ozier was convicted of two counts of being a party to first-degree intentional homicide and four counts of being a party to attempted first-degree intentional homicide. His sentencing is set for Oct. 16.
“Hold your head up, babe,” his mother, Diedre Ozier, said as deputies led him from the courtroom.
Another defendant, Juwan Tyrae Matthews, 30, of Racine, is set for trial on similar charges Aug. 11.
Diedre Ozier decried the verdicts. She said witnesses’ statements changed during the almost eight-year investigation and there was no physical evidence tying her son to the shootings. She said he will appeal.
“I don’t feel that the jury was just,” she said. “I feel it just wasn’t enough evidence. The state didn’t have no DNA, no fingerprints. They never put one (gun) in (my son’s) hands.”
After the trial, Woods’ mother, Mary Helena, leaning on a crutch, slowly walked through the parking lot until she came to the place where her only child died. Despite the toll of the five-day trial, she said, she had to “see it through to the end.”
“As far as I’m concerned, Aaron and Ryan’s blood are still up there, seeking justice,” Helena said of her son and Lockridge. “Sometimes it’s a justice that comes not from man. Man metes out the justice that is his to give.”