OUTAGAMIE COUNTY, Wis. (WBAY) - A state appeals court has upheld the conviction of a man who shot and killed another man outside a bar in the Town of Oneida.
The District III Court of Appeals says Alejandro Silva's arguments did not merit a reversal of conviction. On Jan. 14, the court denied his request for a new trial.
In 2015, a jury convicted Silva of 1st Degree Intentional Homicide.
Prosecutors said Silva shot and killed Kamewan Salzman outside of Benderz Bar in the Town of Oneida in August 2013. The state said Silva fired four shots at Salzman following a bar fight. A bullet ricocheted off the pavement and hit Salzman in the heart, killing him.
Silva testified at trial that the shooting was in self-defense. He said that he saw a group of people approach him after the fight and he fired "warning shots." He said the gun jammed and he ran off. He claimed he did not fire at "anyone in particular."
During deliberations, the jury asked the court to clarify whether "intent to kill" needed for a 1st Degree Intentional Homicide conviction. After instruction, they voted unanimously to convict Silva.
In his appeal, Silva claimed the jury was not provided with proper instructions on lesser counts. The court instructed the jury that Silva's self-defense claim didn't apply to 1st Degree Intentional Homicide in the shooting of Kamewan Salzman, because Silva testified that he didn't know where Kamewan was at the time he fired.
A day after the trial, the defense informed the court that one of the alternate jurors alleged jury misconduct during trial. The alternate claimed the jury foreperson had talked about concerns for missing a trip if deliberations were not concluded quickly. Two other jurors talked about not wanting to miss their vacations, according to the alternate juror. The woman claimed the jurors were in a hurry to get to their vacations and did not want to "look at the whole case in its entirety."
In 2017, Silva filed a motion with the circuit court seeking a new trial based on juror misconduct and claims that the jury was misled during instructions.
The court rejected his arguments. They said the alternate juror's claims were "vague and speculative."
Silva appealed his case up to the state District III Court of Appeals, who determined that Silva's arguments for jury misconduct and misleading the jury during instructions did not persuade the court that the verdict had been tainted.
Silva is serving a life sentence in state prison.