The court system knew Marshall was a problem for years, but the court records in his case reveal an inefficient court system that failed to hold him accountable as the wheels of justice ground extremely slowly.
Wisconsin Right Now has learned that the Franklin Walmart carjacking suspect is 31-year-old David W. Marshall, a felon who had two open felony cases (with six charges) at the time of his crime spree but was given repeated passes by multiple judges and court commissioners in Milwaukee County in the months and days leading up to it.
That’s despite the fact that court records document multiple violations by pretrial services against David Wayne Marshall Jr., meaning he demonstrated over and over again that he was thumbing his nose at the system. Yet the system did little to respond. Already a convicted felon, Marshall was given a signature bond in one of his pending cases, and $500 and then $1,000 cash in another. He posted bail for the last time on Aug. 30 in one serious felony case, just four days before the Franklin crime spree, court records show.
The judges in question are former public defenders and Gov. Tony Evers’ appointees in some cases.
The court system knew David Marshall was a problem for years, but the court records in his case reveal an inefficient court system that failed to hold him accountable as the wheels of justice ground extremely slowly; one of his pending cases entered the court system in July 2020, but he didn’t even have his initial court appearance until January 2021.
His felony cases did not get heard in a timely manner, meaning they didn’t go before a jury or reach another conclusion that might have gotten him off the street far before he ended up in a Franklin Walmart and then with a carjacked vehicle turned upside down on a city street.
Although COVID certainly played its role, the cops have continued doing their jobs, and leadership requires court officials to find a way to keep the community safe and continue doing their jobs in a time of skyrocketing crime. Did the Milwaukee County judges and court commissioners do theirs when it came to David W. Marshall? You be the judge.
Authorities have not yet released David Marshall’s name; we got that from multiple sources [Update, the day after this story ran the medical examiner and Marshall’s family confirmed his name). But law enforcement authorities have described a violent sequence of events, including a kidnapping and two carjackings that led to an active shooter scare in a Franklin Walmart. Marshall, who was armed with a firearm, then led police on a dangerous pursuit and crashed his car. That car crash ended with multiple law enforcement officers shooting and killing Marshall, ending his crime spree. The sheriff said in a news conference that Marshall brought a hostage into two Walmarts, but the man alerted cashiers to his plight. Dramatic video shows Marshall running into the street with a gun.
We’ve learned exclusively that Marshall was already a felon. In 2009, Marshall was convicted of three felonies: burglary, vehicle operator/flee/elude officer, and drive or operate a vehicle without consent. Judge Dennis Cimpl gave him two years in state prison that time around. In 2018, he was convicted of misdemeanor operating a vehicle without owner’s consent in Kenosha County. Judge Mary Kay Wagner gave him 90 days in jail concurrent with another sentence. In 2019, he was convicted of misdemeanor possession of a controlled substance in Langlade County. Judge John Rhode gave him 10 days in jail. In 2016, he was convicted of misdemeanor disorderly conduct in Wittenburg. Judge James Habeck gave him 30 days in jail.
His family told WTMJ-TV that he was bipolar with split personalities, off his meds, and using alcohol.
In 2007, while at Lincoln Hills juvenile detention center, he was convicted of felony battery by prisoners and criminal damage to property. Judge Patrick Fiedler gave him 1 year in prison in a case prosecuted in Dane County. On Facebook, he noted that he spent time at Lincoln Hills.
Despite that fact, judges didn’t seem to treat his cases with much urgency when he landed back in court, starting in 2020, and right up until the days before his crime spree.
Here’s what we learned:
Open Case 1
At the time of his death, Marshall had an open case on charges of felony armed robbery with use of force, felony attempt theft – movable property from person/corpse and misdemeanor retail theft, according to court records. He was charged on July 7, 2020. The initial appearance in the case was not held until January 2021, which is an odd length of time, a delay not explained in the court records. He was declared indigent.
Cash bail of $500 was set by Court Commissioner Dewey Martin, a former lawyer in the corporation counsel’s office. He’s the same court commissioner we wrote about previously for giving a signature bond to a woman accused of pointing a gun at a Milwaukee police officer.
Marshall started racking up the violations.
In May 2021, there was a pretrial services violation report filed with the court. By then, the case was in front of Circuit Judge Milton Childs, a former public defender’s office supervisor appointed by Judge Tony Evers.
Evers’ touted Childs’ “vast experience as a public defender” in a news release when he appointed Childs to the bench.
In June and July, there were at least four more violation reports filed with the court against Marshall. One was a GPS violation.
In June 3, Childs addressed the “Justice Point violations.” What did he do? “Defendant admonished and reminded of bail conditions,” a notation says in the court records.
By June 30, 2021, there was another Justice Point violation. On July 9, another one. On July 12, yet another. On July 13, another violation.
On July 13, a bench warrant was issued when Marshall didn’t show up for court. But no action was taken on his bail.
“Case scheduled for status conference. Defendant failing to appear. On the State’s motion, the court ordered a bench warrant to issue. No action as to bail,” the court records say. On July 21, he was discharged from Justice Point.
Marshall then was located, and he was back in court for a review of bail on Aug. 9. Despite all of the violations, the court records state that his bail was now $1,000 cash but note, “$500.00 previously posted remains.”
“$500.00 previously posted remains. Turnover to Justice Point for level 5 monitoring. All other previously ordered conditions of bail to remain the same,” the court records say.
The court records are a bit confusing on this point; they say that Marshall posted $500 bail on Aug. 17, 2021, was back in custody on Aug. 27, and then posted another $500 bail on Sept. 2, 2021 – the day before the Franklin crime spree. However, although Sept. 2 is the date the bond was recorded, the notation in the file says, “Actual Date Bond Posted with sheriff 08/30/21.”
Open Case 2
That’s not all. Marshall had another open case in the Milwaukee County court system. In February 2020, his first court hearing, it was determined he was not in court, but that was only because he was already in custody in the jail on another offense.
In January 2020, he was charged with felony bail jumping, felony methamphetamine possession, and misdemeanor resisting an officer.
Court Commissioner Rosa M. Barillas gave him a $1,000 signature bond. That meant that he just had to sign a piece of paper to post bond – no cash required at all.
The case wound through the system, adjourning because of COVID for a time. In June 2020, the court, by then Judge Childs again, received a report of a Justice Point violation. He was supposed to be arraigned in July 2020, but that was adjourned when he was “not produced.”
In November 2020, the judge was informed that Marshall had picked up a new case.
The case dragged on for months with multiple status conferences. In May 2021, the court records say, “Defendant has been accepted to drug treatment court. Defendant failing to appear, Court ordered a bench warrant issued but stayed the issuance until next appearance.”
In June 2021, there was an arraignment. Later that same month, the court records say, “Defense informs the Court Defendant won’t qualify for Drug Treatment Court as he has moved out of County but would like time to speak with the Defendant.”
On July 31, the case was transferred to Judge Brittany Grayson. She’s a former assistant district attorney appointed to the bench by Evers.
Grayson held one “off the record” hearing in the case. That was on Aug. 18. The court records say, “Defense requests additional 30 days as Defendant has been accepted into Drug Treatment Court. Parties agree via email to adjourned date of September 28, 2021 at 8:30 am.”
Of course, before that date could arrive, Marshall was marauding through Franklin.
The Franklin Crime Spree
Milwaukee County Sheriff Earnell Lucas said in a news conference that, before 8 a.m., an armed individual “commandeered a vehicle and its driver and directed him to a Walmart store near 27th and Hope, at which time the individuals exited the vehicle, went inside the Walmart, may have obtained some items, and returned to their vehicle.”
Here’s another video we were sent.
They then appeared at a service station on South 27th Street, at which time the victim went inside and alerted an attendant to call the police. The two individuals left and went to the Walmart store at 27th and Sycamore, at which time the victim notified a clerk to call police. Subsequently a call to the Walmart of an active shooter was received. Police responded from multiple agencies. A pursuit ensued that ended in a crash at which time the suspect “jumped out of the vehicle, commandeered another vehicle, and now led officers again on a pursuit that concluded in a crash just north of the intersection at 27th and Sycamore. Individual exited the vehicle with a firearm. Officers engaged the individual, discharged their weapons, and the subject was struck.”
The suspect died. Multiple officers from different agencies are involved. No officers were injured, Lucas said. “We are currently trying to piece together all of the moving parts,” said Lucas, adding that there is no current danger to the public. He said it’s still being investigated whether there were shots in Walmart or at the Walmart parking lot, and whether the suspect fired at officers.
“This peaceful morning started out much like every morning and little did members of law enforcement know that they would be confronted by the dangers and threats, but it’s indicative of the work that the men and women of law enforcement do each day, and the dangers we face each day,” Lucas said.
On the scanner, an officer described the situation as a “Franklin active shooter” incident at one point, although, as noted, the danger has past. Officers described conducting searches in Walmart on the scanner but said “we have not encountered any victims” in Walmart.
The Milwaukee County Medical Examiner’s office confirmed they were responding to the scene, writing, “MCMEO is responding to S 27 and Sycamore in Franklin/Oak Creek. One male victim. Autopsy is scheduled for Monday. Avoid the area.”
“North of Sycamore, he crashed… shots fired, shots fired, 2-7 Sycamore,” officers said in the scanner. “Copy that, shots fired, Sycamore, suspect down…the suspect still has a gun…suspect down, not moving.”
“We received information that the shooting may have taken place in the parking lot and not the store, but I have not vetted that,” an officer said on the scanner. An officer said police were confirming with other businesses to “make sure we have no other shooters out.”
The Walmart is located at 6701 S 27th St, Franklin, Wisconsin.
On the scanner, dispatchers and officers said there was a second scene involving a car at 27th and Ryan. Video from the scene showed the car turned over. An officer said on the scanner that the vehicle was stolen with one license plate.
On the scanner, dispatchers and officers said, “It happened inside the store. Suspect was wearing a gray sweatshirt and Green Bay Packers type hat.” They referred to a “body.” They said, there is a second scene at 27th and Ryan, involving the same suspect, who stole a car. At one point, they said there was a “Franklin active shooter.” Officers referred to rounding up the employees and other people in the Walmart store to interview them. They referred to a victim at one point and then said a Greenfield officer was with the subject, who said he was “all right there.” Officers spoke of moving in “tandem” to clear the grocery and bakery sections.
— Dan (@MrAngry247) September 3, 2021
A witness told Fox6, “All of a sudden we saw a vehicle coming out of his parking lot going like 80 to 100 miles per hour down 27th Street and then all of a sudden you heard them hit like two or three cars. Cop cars started following them and then gunshots were fired. A lot of gunshots were fired – and I don’t know it was just crazy.”