New Berlin — A Milwaukee man has been charged in the hit and run death of a pedestrian crossing Greenfield Avenue near Coachlight Drive in New Berlin about 5:20 a.m. Oct. 31, 2015.
Cole Shelton of 4869 S. 25th St., is charged with hit-and-run resulting in the death of Anthony Villari, 33, of Brookfield. The maximum penalty is 25 years in prison or a $100,000 fine or both. Shelton was 20 at the time of the event .
After what authorities determined was the fatal impact, Villari was struck minutes later by a second car driven by a New Berlin man who turned himself in. Medical investigators concluded that Villari was dead when the second vehicle hit him as his body lay on Greenfield Avenue.
According to the criminal complaint filed in Waukesha County Circuit Court, Shelton was driving home from work in Waukesha headed east on Greenfield Avenue. He told police that just before reaching Moorland Road, he looked down to reach a cigarette and when he looked back up he heard what he described as a "boom."
The passenger side roof was caved in and the entire windshield was damaged, the complaint says. Shelton told police that he knew he hit something. He said he didn't see anything in his rear view mirror, so he continued toward home, the complaint says.
A police reconstruction of the accident concludes that Villari was thrown up onto the passenger side windshield of the defendant's car, then rolled off to the right, landing on or near the lane divider line on Greenfield Avenue, the complaint notes. At that point, Greenfield Avenue has two lanes in each direction, separated by a grassy boulevard.
The car was going an estimated 42 mph. The impact knocked the victim out of his shoes, socks and trousers. The impact also snapped and broke his neck, which the medical examiner's report concludes was the primary cause of death, the complaint says, although the cause of death also was described as multiple injuries.
As Shelton continued east on Greenfield, a Milwaukee County Sheriff's Deputy stopped him at about 89th Street because his car's extensive damage indicated it had probably been in an accident. The deputy was looking for a car that was involved in another hit-and-run. Determining that the car he had stopped was not the one he was looking for, the deputy alerted New Berlin police who took Shelton into custody.
Shelton's initial court appearance was set for 8;15 a.m. Feb. 6.