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Deal for man who sparked standoff too soft, judge says PDF Print E-mail
Daily News
Written by BILL SCHANEN IV   
Wednesday, 04 October 2017 18:16

 Malloy doubles jail recommendation for Port resident who fired shots

    No one was asking for a prison sentence, but the question in an Ozaukee County courtroom last week was how much jail time, if any, should be served by a 49-year-old Port Washington man who in January sparked a nearly six-hour standoff with police by repeatedly firing a handgun outside his Grand Avenue home while in a drunken stupor.
    Assistant District Attorney Shannon Whitworth and defense attorney Jonathan LaVoy agreed that 30 days in the county jail as a condition of a two-year period of probation was sufficient punishment for Richard W. Conrad, who was arrested Jan. 29 after officers fired tear gas into his house.
    “Mr. Conrad is otherwise a very good person,” LaVoy said during the Sept. 25 sentencing hearing, noting that the Wisconsin Department of Corrections agent who authored a presentence report did not recommend time behind bars.
    But Ozaukee County Circuit Judge Paul  Malloy said 30 days in jail is not enough of a punishment for a man who carelessly wielded a gun with a blood alcohol level of .332, more than four times higher than the legal threshold for intoxication of .08.
    “A .332 blood alcohol level and a firearm — I think anybody would objectively say that’s a disaster waiting to happen,” Malloy said. “He was not just intoxicated, he was highly intoxicated and handling a firearm in the community ....
    “This is a big deal. There’s no putting window dressing on this.”
    Malloy sentenced Conrad, who pleaded guilty in July to one felony count of intentionally obstructing emergency personnel and a misdemeanor count of using a firearm while intoxicated, to two years probation and ordered him to serve six months in the county jail with Huber work-release privileges.
    Malloy also ordered Conrad to maintain absolute sobriety, participate in all counseling deemed necessary and submit to random alcohol and drug testing during probation. In addition, Conrad was ordered to surrender all his guns and ammunition, which LaVoy said he has already done.
    The judge also gave Conrad a powerful incentive to stay out of trouble. Following the recommendation of Whitworth and LaVoy, Malloy sentenced Conrad to 1-1/2 years in prison and two years of extended supervision, but stayed the sentence, which means Conrad will only have to serve time in prison if he violates the rules of his probation.
    Police were called to Conrad’s house in the 900 block of West Grand Avenue at 6:30 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 29, after one of his neighbors reported hearing a gunshot and finding Conrad outside his house, drunk and making comments about wanting to “end it,” according to the criminal complaint.
    The neighbor said after he retreated to his house and locked the door, he heard several more gunshots.
    Police cordoned off the neighborhood, told residents to remain in their homes and away from windows and called the Ozaukee County SWAT team.
    During the standoff, officers tried unsuccessfully to talk with Conrad. Eventually they fired tear gas canisters and tossed robotic cameras into the house.
    Port Washington Police Chief Kevin Hingiss said officers eventually saw Conrad walking through the house unarmed and initiated a conversation with him. Conrad invited them in, but instead of entering the house, officers were able to grab Conrad when he came to the door.
    Officers found a number of guns in the house, including the .40 caliber handgun that Conrad had fired, Hingiss said.
    Conrad, who was hospitalized, then jailed, has been free since posting $5,000 bail on Feb. 13.
    Arguing last week in favor of his recommendation that Conrad be supervised for two years, Whitworth noted Conrad struggles with depression, “self-medicates” with alcohol and owned several weapons.
    “We feel two years probation is not an unreasonable amount of time to keep him monitored,” Whitworth said.
    Conrad said he has learned an important lesson.
    “It was a bad night,” he said, referring to the evening of the standoff. “I realize what I did was very serious. I’ve learned that alcohol and me just don’t mix. It doesn’t help my depression; it makes it worse.” Daily Press