Jury finds Sophea Mouth guilty of 2nd-degree homicide in fatal shooting

A jury found Sophea Mouth guilty Thursday night of second-degree intentional homicide for a fatal shooting in 2015 on Madison’s west side.

Closing arguments were conducted Thursday morning in the trial of Sophea Mouth. The jury got the case around 2 p.m. and returned with a verdict around 10:30 p.m.

Mouth was found guilty of second-degree intentional homicide in the shooting death of Thomas Dreger. The jury also found him guilty of attempted intentional homicide in the shooting of Gregory Pongratz.

The shooting stemmed from a November 2015 incident at a Madison body shop where Dreger showed up to change the locks on Mouth’s business after a land contract fell into foreclosure.

Attorneys for the defense claimed previous threats from Dreger led Mouth to fear for his life.

“We believe Mr. Mouth, the evidence will show, that he’s not guilty of those charges,” defense attorney Stanley Woodard said.

The prosecution said Dreger’s pressure to evict Mouth wasn’t an excuse for shooting him.

“You don’t get to execute somebody because they’re a bully,” Dane County Assistant District Attorney Andrea B. Raymond said. “That’s not reasonable. That’s not what we teach our children.”

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