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Teen charged with murder of Tatyana Zech pleads not guilty

Victim's uncle shares connection with defendant
Posted at 5:30 PM, Mar 22, 2024

FOND DU LAC (NBC 26) — One of the teenagers charged in the shooting death of a Fond Du Lac woman has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

  • An inside look at the arraignment for Parise Larry
  • 15-year-old Larry and 18-year-old Antonio Johnston are charged with first degree intentional homicide in the shooting death of 20-year-old Tatyana Zech
  • Zech's uncle says Larry was once a part of his mentoring program

(The following is a transcription of the full broadcast story)

Friday morning a teenager charged with murder appears before a judge. I'm Pari Apostolakos reporting in Fon du Lac, where the victim's uncle shared with me a call to action.

Parise Larry's attorneys entered a not guilty plea for all charges at the 15-year-old's arraignment in Fon du Lac. Larry and 18-year-old Antonio Johnston are charged with first degree intentional homicide in the shooting death of 20-year-old Tatyana Zech in May 2023.

According to police, Zech was shot in the head while taking out trash following a cookout. Police say three other people were also injured in the shooting.

"We're getting one step closer to justice for my niece," Zech's uncle, Antonio Godfrey Sr. said after the hearing.

He says he has a connection to Larry.

"At one point in time, he was a part of my mentoring program," he said. "It's gut wrenching, because a lot of people poured a lot into him to try to make sure he didn't go down the road that he's on."

Godfrey says the community needs to start having conversations about how to stop violence among young people.

"Let's try to combat this problem. Because, unfortunately, we may be here again," he said. "We have two young Black males who are adding to a higher statistic."

According to the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention's latest estimates, nationwide, 930 juveniles were arrested for murder and non-negligent manslaughter in 2020. About 19,000 were arrested for aggravated assault.

Members of Parise Larry's family were also in court. They did not want to give an interview.

"My heart goes out to their families as well because they're hurting too," Godfrey said. "They're victims just like we are."

The court has decided to combine Larry and Antonio Johnston's cases. Johnston is awaiting arraignment and has not yet entered a plea.

A scheduling conference will be held for this case on May 6 at 11 a.m. In Fon du Lac, Pari Apostolakos NBC 26.