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Teen suspect in Fond du Lac shooting appears for preliminary hearing 10 months after incident

Antonio Johnston
Posted at 5:23 PM, Feb 23, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-23 18:24:18-05

FOND DU LAC (NBC 26) — Antonio Johnston, the 18-year-old charged in connection with a deadly May shooting in the City of Fond du Lac, appeared for his preliminary hearing,10 months after the incident.

  • Teen shooting suspect was bound over for trial in a preliminary hearing 10 months after the incident.
  • Police say Johnston was on the run for four months, and the state says it took several months to find Johnston a defense attorney.
  • Video shows the victim's family's reaction to the process.

At the hearing, the case was bound over for trial.

Detective Nick Hahn with the Fond du Lac Police Department testified in court that surveillance video showed two suspects, 18-year-old Johnston and a 14-year-old, firing at a group of people at Maplewood Commons apartments on May 7, 2023.

“You actually saw the shooting on video, and you could clearly see the person who had been identified as Mr. Antonio Johnston previously,” Hahn said.

Twenty-year-old Tatyanna Zech was shot in the head and killed, and three others were injured.

The 14-year-old suspect turned himself in a few days after the shooting, but police said Johnston was on the run for four months.

Police issued a nationwide arrest warrant, and later found him in Chicago.

Once he was apprehended, the state said the preliminary hearing was further delayed because it took several months to find Johnston a public defender.

Zech’s family was in court for the hearing.

“It's just one day closer to having some type of closure and justice far for Taty,” Antonio Godfrey, Zech’s uncle, said. “This is a long, drawn-out lengthy process and I know a lot of it was because he was on the run, he needs to get an attorney and all the other legal stuff.”

But the family says the most difficult part of the past 10 months was waiting for Johnston to be captured.

“We don't have to keep wondering, like, is he going to get caught? Or is he going to be held accountable for what he did?” Hannah Brace, Zech’s sister-in-law, said.

The case is now bound over for trial.

The other 14-year-old suspect in this case was also bound over for trial, and he’ll appear in court for an arraignment next month.