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'He shot my mom:' Trial begins for Whitefish Bay man accused of shooting woman teaching son to drive

Posted at 10:49 AM, Feb 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-24 20:17:03-05

The trial of a man accused of shooting a mother while she was teaching her son how to drive started Monday.

Matthew Wilks is accused of shooting Tracey Smith after he cut off the vehicle her son was driving on Aug. 30, 2019.

A criminal complaint said that Smith was riding as a passenger in the vehicle her son was driving when they were making a left turn and Wilks cut over in front of them, made a left turn from the wrong lane and hit the passenger side of their vehicle.

Her son Caleb took the stand Monday. His testimony rehashing his memories from that day as he sat in the driver's seat, watching his mother get shot.

"The person who hit us, telling my mom, shut the F*** up," Caleb Smith said. "And B**** I'll kill you ... he shot my mom."

However, Wilks' attorneys say that was just a warning. They say he feared for his life because he thought she was reaching into her purse to retrieve a gun.

"Despite that warning, Ms. Smith picked up her purse, with a hand inside, [Smith said] I got something for you," Colin McGinn, Wilks' attorney said. "Not, let's call police, do you have insurance, do you have a driver's license? I got something for you."

Monday, multiple witnesses said they didn't hear Smith say that. They say she was angry about the crash but didn't say she said anything threatening. They say the only threatening things they heard were from Wilks.

Wilks was charged with first-degree intentional homicide and possession of a firearm by a felon. He faces life in prison and/or up to $25,000 in fines.

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