JANESVILLE—The Beloit 15-year-old charged with fatally shooting a 19-year-old in Beloit over Labor Day weekend has pleaded not guilty in the case, according to Rock County Circuit Court records.
Dante T. Wilson appeared by video conference before Rock County Circuit Court Commissioner Stephen Meyer and pleaded not guilty to charges of first-degree homicide, possession of a firearm on school grounds and possession of a dangerous weapon under the age of 18.
The matter will now be bound over for a potential trial as the case continues, with no date being set at Wednesday’s hearing.
As previously reported by the Beloit Daily News:
A 19-year-old male was fatally shot at around 9:30 p.m. in the 1000 block of Portland Avenue on Sept. 3. The teen’s body lay undiscovered for nearly 36 hours when police responded at around 7:53 a.m. on Sept. 5. Police were in the area on Sept. 3 to investigate a report of shots fired but the victim’s body was not visible due to the victim’s location between a fence in the 300 block of Porland Avenue and a garage in the 800 block of Bluff Street.
Through interviews, Beloit police were able to ascertain that a fight was arranged shortly prior to the shooting after communication over social media.
In interviews, Wilson was identified as a person with a handgun during the shooting, with witnesses claiming Wilson fired the handgun during the incident, the criminal complaint states.
In an interview, a person told police that Wilson had traded a different firearm for the handgun allegedly tied to the shooting “a few weeks prior.”
After multiple interviews, Wilson was tied to the shooting and on Sept. 13, authorities closed in on Beloit Memorial High School. The school was placed on soft lockdown during police activity prior to the arrest.
Wilson was located in a third floor classroom of the high school. A school administrator told Wilson to leave his backpack next to his desk before escorting him out of the classroom when he was taken into custody without incident.
A Beloit police officer confiscated the backpack containing the 9-millimeter handgun. The handgun was loaded with a round in the chamber with nine bullets in the magazine, with a fired cartridge casing found at the scene of the shooting matching ammunition in the gun, the complaint says.
There have been four homicides in Beloit in 2021.