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Fatal Fox River Mall shooter sentenced to decades behind bars

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Posted at 11:46 AM, Feb 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-02 10:20:12-05

GRAND CHUTE (NBC 26) — A man convicted in a fatal shooting at the Fox River Mall was sentenced to decades behind bars during a hearing in Outagamie County Circuit Court.

The sentencing Tuesday comes a year after authorities said 18-year-old Dezman Ellis shot and killed Jovanni Frausto during a dispute about a girlfriend at the Fox River Mall's food court.

A judge sentenced Ellis to 40 years behind bars following a hearing that included emotional testimony from members of Frausto's family.

Frausto's mother, Tanya Lopez struggled through tears as she shared a few words about her son.

“I just feel empty. I don’t really feel like I’m I’m really here. When Jovanni left he took my whole heart. I have to stay strong for my kids,” Lopez said. “I miss my baby. It’s like a nightmare. I just can’t believe it."

A bystander, Colt Lemmers, was injured. Ellis fled the mall in a car with friends and was arrested days later in Iowa.

Lemmers also spoke at the sentencing.

“I can’t sleep anymore. The only time I can sleep is during the day when everybody is home when I know there is someone there to protect me," Lemmers said.

Prior to the sentencing Ellis showed remorse and admitted that night should have not played out like that.

"I’m truly sorry for what I did and I’m sorry for the pain suffered that I put you through," Ellis said.

The gun used in the crime was never recovered by police.

Ellis admitted Tuesday to throwing it out the window along the highway.

In an agreement with prosecutors, Ellis earlier entered no contest pleas to second-degree intentional homicide and first-degree reckless endangering safety. He was initially charged with first-degree intentional homicide in Frausto's death, a charge that carries a life sentence.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.