Suspect in attack on UW-Madison student previously convicted of crime on UW-Whitewater campus
DA: He was 'given so many chances'
WHITEWATER, Wis. — News 3 Now is taking a deeper look into the criminal history of the man suspected of brutally attacking a 19-year-old student on Sunday at the University of Wisconsin-Madison whom he appeared not to know at all.
Police arrested 22-year-old Jerome Winslow for violating probation on Thursday.
Court documents show Winslow has three prior felonies and served no jail time. Two of the felonies were from Dane County, and the other was from Jefferson County.
The criminal complaint from the Jefferson County case shows in May 2017, Winslow held a gun to the back of a man’s head while he and a woman took $125 from the man on the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater campus. Documents show an officer from the UW-Whitewater Police Department was injured trying to run after Winslow.
Winslow, who was 20 at the time, was charged in Jefferson County Court with armed robbery as a party to a crime, pointing a firearm at another person and resisting an officer.
Jefferson County District Attorney Susan Happ recommended 7.5 years with 30 months initial confinement. She said Winslow was “given so many chances.”
“Despite the fact that he was young, from my perspective, there could be no outcome or recommendation other than prison,” Happ told News 3 Now.
The court sentenced Winslow to eight years with an initial three years of confinement, but the court stayed the sentence, and Winslow was put on probation for six years, serving no jail time. Happ said she was “surprised and disappointed” by the outcome but explained that many factors go into making recommendations, including the defendant’s positive attributes.
“He had the fact that he was young. He had family support. He had a lot of family support. He had a lot of character letters that were presented to the court. But for me, the final thing to balance all of those is you need to protect the public,” she said.
Court records show Winslow was previously convicted in Dane County of disorderly conduct, battery, criminal damage to property and battery of a police officer.
Happ also took into consideration Winslow’s previous crimes in Dane County when making her recommendation. She said those violent crimes “tipped the scale” in making her recommendation of prison time.
Winslow was on probation for the armed robbery case in Jefferson County when he was arrested on suspicion of the attack on the UW-Madison student.
Happ added that courts make effortts to rehabilitate people, but “no one has a crystal ball (and) no one can predict what defendants are going to do.”
“When you have someone who has chronic crimes of violence — despite efforts to put them on bond, keep them in compliance, keep them in the community — and they keep committing violent offenses, then unfortunately, that’s where our criminal justice does step in, and we say, ‘They need confined treatment,'” she explained.
The UW-Whitewater Police Department declined to comment on the story.
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