Man found guilty in Laylah Petersen's homicide

Posted at 2:46 PM, Sep 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-29 23:20:03-04

MILWAUKEE -- A Milwaukee jury has found Carl Barrett guilty of first degree intentional homicide in the shooting death of Laylah Petersen.

The jury had to decide whether Barrett was responsible for the death of Petersen, and being one of two men who opened fire on the child's home on N. 58th Street and  W. Fairmount Avenue on Nov. 6, 2014.

The prosecution argued Barrett was one of two trigger men. “The state doesn't need to prove which bullet killed this sweet innocent little girl,” said prosecutor Sara Hill.

The state also argued that ballistic evidence and statements from two key witnesses proved Barrett is guilty.

The other two men responsible, according to prosecutors, are Paul Farr and Arlis Gordon. Both men have accepted plea deals. The men have admitted that they shot up the wrong home when Gordon sought to get revenge and targeted a man acquitted for the death of his brother.

“That revenge was so not well thought out that they went to the completely wrong house. They get out of the car, they run to the wrong house and they just shoot it. They light the place up,” said Hill in her closing argument.

Earlier in the week, Farr testified that while he wanted in the car on November 6th, Barrett and Gordon got off of the car.

The defense argued that while the state has presented “a compelling argument,” the jury of six men and seven women had to separate emotion from fact.

Hartley argues that Barrett was not responsible for pulling the trigger, and that the witnesses they heard from are not creditable.
“Devonte Forbes has lied to the police. He's lied to the DA's office and he's lied to you,” said Hartley. “This whole theory about my client being the muscle is absolute garbage."

Hartley told the jury that the man before them should be Forbes and not Barrett. The weapon used by Barrett had been given to him by Forbes.

Still the prosecution wrapped up by telling the jury their witness are “no angels” and that Farr had to reason to lie. 

Barrett's sentencing is December 1.  He could face more than 60 years in jail. 

The other two men involved have pleaded guilty.  Sentencing for the other accused shooter, 24-year-old Arlis Gordon, is December 8.  Sentencing for 25-year-old Paul Farr, an accomplice, is October 21.