Gas Station Homicide Defendant's Attempts at Tossing Evidence Fails
Waukesha County Judge Kathryn Foster rules that 21-year-old Billy Ingram was detained appropriately while Brookfield police officers were investigating a nearby home invasion.
The Brookfield police officer who detained 21-year-old Billy Ingram before his arrest on a warrant acted appropriately when he questioned Ingram while investigating a nearby burglary, Waukesha County Judge Kathryn Foster ruled on Tuesday following a three-hour hearing.
Ingram is charged with the May 29 homicide of Nayyer Rana, a gas station clerk in Waukesha. Ingram’s attorney, Sam Benedict, was attempting to toss out evidence base on what Benedict felt was an illegal stop.
“What is clear is in this court’s review of this record is the field interrogation was conducted by the book,” Foster said.
Ingram, who had a warrant out for his arrest, was taken into custody by Brookfield police while they were investigating a May 30 home invasion. He was walking close to the scene, with a skateboard and a plastic bag in his hand, Brookfield Police Officer Jesse Hart testified Tuesday. Hart spoke with Ingram, searched him as is protocol during burglary investigations and took Ingram’s ID to run through the system.
That’s when Hart and another officer discovered a warrant for Ingram’s arrest through the Department of Corrections. In total, Ingram was detained by police during the investigation for 10 minutes before the warrant was discovered.
Benedict questioned why Hart didn’t let Ingram leave the scene after a description of the burglary suspect didn’t match Ingram.
“There is no additional information is that he is linked to the burglary,” Benedict said. “In fact, every indication is that he is not.”
Benedict was also attempting to get evidence suppressed from a jury that was in two bags found by an Elm Grove police officer. The items in the bag, including Rana’s keys, unopened cigarettes and cigars, smoking pipes, a computer and $100.30 in cash.
Benedict argued that Ingram was returning for the bags and that the police unlawfully seized the items that were left at a bus stop. An Elm Grove police officer said in court she found the bags abandoned at the bus stop and that no one was there, so she took the bags back to the police station for inventory.
However, Foster didn’t think Benedict’s argument held merit. She said the actions by Brookfield and Elm Grove police officers were “fairly basic police work.”
“I don’t believe in coincidences,” Foster said.
“There is no guarantee that only one or only two or only three individuals are involved in a burglary,” she added.
Ingram returns to court at 10 a.m. Jan. 17 for a hearing where a trial date could be set. Ingram remains in custody.