Men charged in shooting of Port teen face sentencings

One is guilty of wounding driver, the other of attempted armed robbery in failed downtown carjacking
Ozaukee Press staff

Two Milwaukee men — one who shot a teenager outside the downtown Port Washington apartment where he lived with his parents during a failed carjacking and another who participated in the May 20 attempted car theft — are scheduled to be sentenced in Ozaukee County Circuit Court next week.

The gunman, Niyoktron Martin, 21, pleaded no contest to attempted first-degree intentional homicide on Dec. 12 in connection with the shooting of an 18-year-old who was sitting in his car parked on Main Street. 

Prosecutors have recommended that Ozaukee County Circuit Judge Sandy Williams sentence Martin to 18 years in prison followed by 12 years of extended supervision. He could be sentenced to a maximum 40 years in prison.

Martin’s accomplice and cousin, Lavander Blanks, 27, was also charged with attempted homicide, but that charge was dismissed as part of a plea agreement that resulted in Blanks pleading no contest to attempted armed robbery. 

Prosecutors have recommended he be sentenced to six years in prison followed by four years of extended supervision. He could be sentenced to a maximum 25 years in prison.

At the time of the shooting, Blanks was living with his fiancee in a Port Washington apartment on Franklin Street.

Martin was hiding out with Blanks in Port Washington after Martin allegedly gunned down a man in Milwaukee two days before the Port shooting and stole his gun — the 9mm used to shoot the Port Washington teenager — according to a complaint filed in Milwaukee County Circuit Court charging Martin with felony murder. 

Martin has pleaded not guilty in that case. Blanks is not implicated in the Milwaukee shooting.

According to the Milwaukee County criminal complaint, Blanks’ fiancee told investigators that Blanks was watching a television news story about the May 18 murder of the Milwaukee man when he told her he was worried about Martin and decided to invite him to stay with them in Port Washington.

She said Martin was dropped off at her apartment on the day of the Milwaukee shooting and told her and Blanks that he needed to “hang low because things are hot in Milwaukee,” the complaint states.

While Martin took Blanks up on his offer to hide out in Port Washington, he apparently didn’t want to stay long. In what police said was an attempted carjacking, Martin and Blanks approached the Port Washington teenager as he was sitting in his car on East Main Street just before 11 p.m. Sunday, May 20.

Port Washington police officer Jerry Nye testified during a May 31 preliminary hearing that the teenager told him one of the men, who authorities identified as Martin, pointed a gun at the driver’s side window, ordered him out of the car and, as the teen put the car into reverse, opened fire. 

Wounded in the shoulder area, the teenager backed onto Franklin Street and drove to the police station while on the phone with a 911 dispatcher.

According to the 911 recording, he told the dispatcher, “I’ve just been shot. They shot me in my car .... They shot my window out .... I’m bleeding everywhere, ma’am. I’m bleeding out. Oh my God ... I have to call my mom and dad.”

The teenager was taken by ambulance to Aurora Medical Center in Grafton, then flown by helicopter to Froedtert Hospital in Wauwatosa. He was released the day after the shooting.

Although the teen didn’t get a good look at his attackers, he did see the gun one of them pointed at him, Nye said. 

“He described it as a gun that looked similar to an Uzi,” Nye said, referring to a small automatic weapon that typically uses a high-capacity magazine. “He described it as looking like a handgun with an extended magazine.”

Footage from downtown video cameras shows two men who authorities say were Martin and Blanks walking west on East Main Street, then north on North Wisconsin Street near the police station minutes after the shooting. Footage from a camera at the station shows the men picking up their pace and cutting through a parking lot behind the apartment of Blanks’ fiancee, where they were arrested the next day.

Inside the apartment, authorities found  a 9mm handgun and two clips, one of which was an extended, 30-round magazine. A bullet found on the stairs of the apartment matched one found at the scene of the shooting just blocks away, authorities said. 

Authorities also found a pair of Martin’s blood-stained pants, which along with the gun helped tie him to the Milwaukee murder, according to the complaint filed in Milwaukee County.

Martin and Blanks are scheduled to be sentenced in Ozaukee County Circuit Court  at 3 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 14.


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Ozaukee Press

Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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Port Washington, WI 53074
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