Trial date set for suspect in presumed murder of Green Bay man

Shawn Leitner (WITI-TV)

MILWAUKEE (WLUK ) – A February trial date has been set for one of the suspects accused in the presumed murder of Green Bay man, while another is expected to plead out later this month.

Jovanny Puga was beaten and left for dead in a Milwaukee river in February 2017.

Brandan Guyton-Denn, 19, of Green Bay, Shawn Leitner, 19, of Manitowoc and Jaleel Schultz, 19, of Milwaukee are charged with first degree reckless homicide and party to a crime, while Emma Brud, 19 of De Pere, is charged with aiding a felon.

Three of the suspects appeared in court Thursday. Leitner is set for trial Feb. 11. Guyton-Denn returns to court Nov. 16 for a scheduling conference. Brud returns to court Nov. 29 for a plea hearing, court records show.

An arrest warrant has been issued for Schultz, who is still at-large.

According to the criminal complaint, investigators learned in March of 2017 of reports of a man beaten to death and thrown into the Milwaukee River at Lincoln Park.

Three of the four suspects in the case were arrested in March of 2017 when West Bend police stopped a vehicle that was reported stolen out of De Pere by Brud's mother, the criminal complaint says.

A search of the suspects' cellphones turned up internet searches for phrases such as "Lincoln Park Milwaukee satellite view", "Milwaukee deaths last night" and "Milwaukee deaths in the river," and a photo of Puga was found on one of the phones, copied from the Green Bay Police Department's social media page, asking for the public's help locating him.

According to Brud, she and Guyton-Denn were dating and he "wanted revenge" on Puga over a dispute, the complaint says. Guyton-Denn told Brud to bring Puga to Milwaukee, which she did. She did it knowing he would be beaten, prosecutors say. Puga was beaten near the river and forced to get undressed before being tossed in, the complaint reads.

Brud was instructed to take Puga's clothes to Green Bay, the complaint says, and burn them.

Puga's body has never been found.

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off