Man charged in shooting death of teen pleads not guilty

MILWAUKEE (WITI) – 22-year-old Kentonyo Morgan, the Milwaukee man charged in the death of 17-year-old Daniel Gardner, pleaded not guilty during his preliminary hearing Wednesday, June 5th. Morgan is bound over for trial.

Gardner was gunned down on May 6th in broad daylight at Washington Park, on Milwaukee’s north side.

Morgan faces one count of first degree intentional homicide (use of a dangerous weapon), and one count of possession of a firearm by a felon.

The criminal complaint indicates officials spoke with a woman who identified herself as the girlfriend of Gardner, following the shooting. That woman told officials she and Gardner had gone to Washington Park with her three-year-old brother.

The complaint says the woman told officials the three were in the playground area when a man wearing a dark gray hoodie and jeans approached Gardner — asking Gardner and his girlfriend whether they remembered him.

Then, the complaint indicates the man pulled a gun and pointed it at Gardner and said “You remember me now?”

At that point, Gardner told the man, “Don’t shoot. My girl and her brother are here” — according to the complaint.

Gardner’s girlfriend told officials the man said he didn’t care, and said he would shoot the girl and her brother as well, according to the complaint.

At that point, Gardner told the woman to grab her brother and run — and the two fled from the scene. That’s when the girl reported hearing a gunshot and saw Gardner laying on the ground — according to the complaint.

Officials were able to locate a cell phone at the scene that they were able to determine belonged to Morgan. He was arrested and interviewed by officials.When interviewed by police, the complaint says Morgan said he hadn’t owned a cell phone since 2011, and said at the time of the shooting, he was taking his pregnant girlfriend to the hospital, due to complications with the pregnancy. Morgan admitted he had a probation appointment that day, but cancelled it due to taking his girlfriend to the hospital.

Officials checked surveillance video and medical records and found no evidence Morgan or Morgan’s girlfriend ever arrived at Aurora Sinai Medical Center on May 6th.

The complaint indicates Gardner’s girlfriend and a citizen witness helped police identify the suspect through a lineup.

Morgan was previously convicted of possession of THC (second offense) and felony bail jumping.

This killing in broad daylight caught the attention of city leaders. Milwaukee Common Council President Willie Hines represents the area and called the attack an isolated and targeted incident.

“I’ve been on the council now for 17 years. I’ve never had to deal with anything of this sort,” Hines said.