By Joe Bachman
WISCONSIN RAPIDS — A Milwaukee man has been sentenced to one year in jail for the armed robbery and assault of a Seneca man.
According to police reports, on Jan. 31, officers were sent out to a residence regarding the robbery and assault of a Seneca man. The man was found with his hands restrained behind his back with a black electrical cord, and noted that his face was swollen, bruised, and contained multiple abrasions.
Four days later, 23-year-old Emilio Velez Ortiz and 44-year-old Berlin native Kendrick Gatlin were apprehended in suspicion of the crime. The two were found in the Milwaukee area.
Velez-Ortiz faced Circuit Court Judge Todd Wolf Thursday afternoon for sentencing. The state recommended one year jail time with four years probation, citing that Velez-Ortiz stopped Gatlin from inflicting further harm to the victim after he pulled a knife on him. They also made the recommendation based on Velez-Ortiz’s lack of criminal history.
“I would like to apologize to [the victim] because he didn’t deserve to go through any of this,” said Velez-Ortiz to Judge Wolf. “I should be more aware of who I decide to hang out with.”
“That appears to be an isolated incident, and according to the victim’s version, which weighs in your favor — that Mr. Gatlin was going to take it one step further, and that didn’t happen because you talked him out of it…and that should weigh back to your character,” said Judge Wolf to Velez-Ortiz. “Considering all of those, and that the state came to an agreement with you in lieu of your testimony, I’m going to go along with the agreement, but I am not going to minimize your involvement in this or the jail time you deserve.”
Velez-Ortiz will also serve four years probation. He has already served 145 days of his one year sentence at the Wood County Jail. Velez-Ortiz will also pay $4,914 in restitution.
Gatlin, who faces more the serious charge of Felony C armed robbery, will have his sentencing hearing on Sept. 11.