DA: Suspect and victim argued over money, TV prior to shooting
A 58-year-old man is charged in the fatal shooting of a 48-year-old woman on Appleton's southeast side.
"It's extremely tragic. Our hearts go out to this family and certainly to their extended family and friends who are really suffering right now," Outagamie County District Attorney Melinda Tempelis said after Johnny Scott appeared in Outagamie County Court Friday on charges of 1st Degree Intentional Homicide and 2nd Degree Recklessly Endangering Safety.
The homicide charge comes with a domestic abuse modifier, according to court records.
The court set cash bond at $750,000. Scott has previous run-ins with law enforcement in Wisconsin and California. He has another court date on this case next week.
If convicted of the homicide charge, Scott faces a sentence of life in prison.
Police say 48-year-old Annie Ford was shot inside a duplex in the 3300 block of E Canary Street. An autopsy showed she was shot in the right clavicle, abdomen, right jaw and left arm. She was pronounced dead at a hospital.
The Appleton Police Department said officers had responded to two calls at the duplex during the evening hours prior to the shooting.
During Scott's court appearance, the Outagamie County District Attorney said Scott and Ford had been arguing about $800 that was missing, and about a television, prior to the shooting.
Investigators say Scott pulled a gun and shot Ford as she was trying to sleep with her son in a spare bedroom.
Ford's son called 911. He told police that Scott had pointed a gun at him before telling him to go downstairs.
Appleton Police Sgt. Dave Lund said Thursday that Scott and Ford both lived in the duplex, and had recently moved in together.
"What we know now is that on the evening of Wednesday, September 20, the Appleton Police Department responded twice to that duplex for calls of service," Lund says.
Lund says circumstances did not merit an arrest under Wisconsin's domestic abuse law, which calls for
"One of those, if you look at the public record, is coded as a domestic call, and the other one is coded as a disturbance call. In both those cases our officers responded and made contact with the victim and the suspect. In speaking to them and to third parties, it was determined that the criteria under the mandatory arrest law in the state of Wisconsin had not been met."
Police were called to a report of a shooting at the duplex at about 2 a.m. on Sept. 21. Officers arrived to find Scott in the driveway. He told police that a woman was inside with gunshots wounds, police said. Scott surrendered to police and was taken into custody.
Our crew on scene said there was a heavy police presence, with some officers carrying rifles. A fire truck responded.
A family member crossed through crime scene tape. Officers said he had a black carjack in his hand. He was approaching quickly and aggressively. They told him to stop, put down his weapon and he did.
"He put himself in a very dangerous position along with anybody else who was on scene," said Sgt. Lund. "And we understand he was emotionally distraught however it was a little bit of a hairy situation for our officers for a minute or so."
Appleton Police say there is no threat to the public and the shooting appears to be a domestic situation.
Beth Schnorr, executive director of Harbor House, spoke during a news conference on the shooting.
Schnorr urged families, friends, and community members to report suspected domestic violence.
"What the community doesn't always understand and recognize is that domestic violence is an extremely volatile situation. It often goes under reported. And it's happening all over our city and county and state and nation," Schnorr says.
Harbor House offers free and confidential services to victims of domestic violence. Schnorr says staff are ready to help victims 24 hours a day.
"Unfortunately, every family that is staying at Harbor House today is a potential victim of homicide," Schnorr said.