Three charged for fight at Green Bay funeral home

The violence erupted during a service
Published: Jun. 2, 2023 at 2:02 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 2, 2023 at 3:14 PM CDT
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - Three people were formally charged Friday for a fight at a Green Bay funeral home that involved as many as 30 people.

In the criminal complaints obtained by Action 2 News, witnesses say Anthony Stokes, 51, instigated the fight by being disruptive during a service at Blaney Funeral Home on Shawano Ave.

One witness said a man began speaking over the preacher and then began arguing with a woman. Another witness told police the man was “yelling things like ‘That’s a lie’ and ‘That’s not true’ and something about ‘the devil.’”

Witnesses said someone grabbed the man, then several joined in pushing the man outside the door, yelling at him to leave, then “chaos broke out and everyone in the funeral home began fighting outside.”

One of the defendants, Brandon Harris, 20, told police his cousin showed up drunk at a funeral for Harris’s friend and caused a disturbance. He said his cousin started fighting with his stepdad, and Harris jumped in to defend his stepdad. Harris said a man he didn’t know started hitting him during the fight then drove off when police started to show up. Harris was caught and arrested while running away from the scene.

The complaints say a number of people tried to physically interfere with officers while they were arresting people and trying to control the crowd. Exzavion Shepard, 21, is accused of trying to get between officers and a woman who they were taking into custody for interfering with an arrest.

Stokes is charged with two counts of disorderly conduct, a misdemeanor that carries up to 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.

Harris and Shepard are charged with disorderly conduct and resisting or obstructing an officer. The charge of resisting is a more serious misdemeanor that carries up to 9 months in jail and a $10,000 fine. Harris is charged as a repeat offender, which could add up to 2 years to the sentence if he’s found guilty.

Five people were arrested. We don’t know if additional charges are pending.

Police noted that Harris was also a victim of the fight and was taken to a hospital for facial stitches.

Shepard appeared unresponsive after being handcuffed; he was checked out by rescue personnel but denied needing medical treatment, police said.

In court Friday, Brandon Harris pleaded not guilty; his next court date is June 16 at 11:30 a.m. and a $1,000 signature bond was set for him.

Exzavion Shepard also entered a not guilty plea in court Friday. He refused a public defender and stated he was going to find a lawyer. A $500 signature bond was set and his next court date is scheduled for June 22 at 8:30 a.m.