- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 28, 2015

July 28—With a jury picked and waiting to hear opening statements in his murder trial, a Madison man took a deal and pleaded guilty Tuesday morning to shooting another man to death last summer on Madison’s South Side.

Tyrone M. Isaac Jr., 28, was headed to trial on Tuesday on a first-degree intentional homicide charge for the Aug. 30 shooting death of Darren L. Goodwan, 27, but instead pleaded guilty to second-degree reckless homicide.

Under the plea agreement, both Assistant Attorney General Shelly Rusch and Isaac’s lawyers, Assistant Public Defenders Dennis Burke and Murali Jasti, will recommend a seven-year prison sentence, with no recommendation on time to be served on extended supervision.

The charge carries a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison followed by 10 years of extended supervision.

Dane County Circuit Judge Stephen Ehlke said he was likely to accept the recommended sentence, but ordered a pre-sentence investigation by the state Department of Corrections and will sentence Isaac at a later date.

“I can understand why the state would make such an offer and I can totally understand why you would accept such an offer,” Ehlke told Isaac. “The truth is, jury trials are very complex and nobody knows what a jury will do.”

Isaac had recently rejected a similar plea deal which would have included an eight-year recommended prison sentence, opting instead to go to trial and present a self-defense claim. But the trial was derailed before it began when it was learned that a key prosecution witness had been hospitalized and was in surgery for a condition that was not disclosed in court.

The delay caused by trying to determine the witness’ whereabouts led to more negotiation and the plea agreement. The trial had been scheduled to last through this week.

“Since Aug. 30 there has been a division of sorts on the South Side on whether you’re on the Goodwan side or the Isaac side,” Burke said. “It’s time to end this division and let the healing begin.”

The shooting occurred at a party in the 700 block of West Badger Road and followed a fight that had happened at a Downtown parking ramp about an hour earlier.

A criminal complaint states that a friend of Isaac, Alvin McCarty, got into a fight with Goodwan, and was seriously injured. A witness said she saw Isaac take a gun from McCarty and shoot Goodwan. McCarty was hospitalized with head injuries.

Shots were fired at Isaac as he fled in a car. Isaac, who was shot in the knee, received medical treatment in Dubuque and made it to the Denver area, where he was arrested a few days after the shooting.

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(c)2015 The Wisconsin State Journal (Madison, Wis.)

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