Monroe County DA rules Sparta officer-involved shooting justified

SPARTA, Wis. (WKBT) - The Monroe County District Attorney Kevin Croninger rules the Sparta officer-involved shooting on January 7, 2018 was justified.

DA Croninger said Deputy Jesse Murphy of the Monroe County Sheriff's Office actions were lawful and reasonable acts of defense and no criminal charges will be filed in relation to the incident resulting in the death of Skyler D. Burnette.

Wisconsin law allows all persons to use deadly force in an act of self-defense or defense of others. 

"There has to be a threat that is significant enough that the officer perceives it to be a threat against the life of the other individual or themself," said Kevin Croninger, district attorney for Monroe County.  

During a review of body camera footage, Croninger said he counted at least 44 times where authorities told the suspect to drop the knife. While that was not a determining factor in the decision not to press charges, he says that does help further justify the deputy's use of deadly force. 

Monroe County Sheriff Scott Perkins said Deputy Murphy will be allowed to return from administrative leave since charges were not filed following the investigation. 

PREVIOUS: The Monroe County Sheriff's Department and Sparta Police responded to a domestic violence 911 call around 10 a.m. January 7 in Sparta.

Officers encountered a male suspect threatening the life of a woman with a knife and a sheriff's deputy shot the suspect. The man, identified as Skyler D. Burnette, 21, of Sparta, died at the scene, according to a press release. 

The Monroe County Sheriff's deputy involved in the shooting is Jesse Murphy. Deputy Murphy was hired by the Monroe County Sheriff's Office in 2006. Deputy Murphy has been placed on paid administrative leave, pending the outcome of this investigation, per the sheriff’s department policy.

The Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) responded to the scene at the request of local authorities to conduct an investigation.

Per the Monroe County Sheriff's Department policy, the deputy has been placed on paid administrative leave, pending the outcome of the investigation.

The incident is currently under investigation.

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