When Jordan Cardella’s girlfriend broke up with him, he figured his best shot at getting her back was literally a shot.
So he asked his friends to shoot him, and one did exactly that. Seeing him in pain certainly would cause the young woman to have a change of heart and take him back, right?
Not even close. The ex-girlfriend did not come to visit the 20-year-old South Milwaukee man in the hospital as he had hoped. Police, however, did stop by.
At a sentencing hearing for the shooter this month, Milwaukee County Assistant District Attorney Christopher Rawsthorne said he meant no disrespect, but “this has to be the most phenomenally stupid case that I have seen. It’s unbelievable what happened here.”
Michael C. Wezyk and his lawyer didn’t disagree.
“I mean, sorry to bring something so stupid into your courtroom,” Wezyk, 24, of Cudahy, told Circuit Judge Rebecca Dallet. Wezyk pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of injury by negligent use of a dangerous weapon, a felony.
The judge sentenced him to two years’ probation and 100 hours of community service, and at a separate hearing this month, gave the same sentence to Anthony D. Woodall, 20, of South Milwaukee, a friend of Cardella who lined up Wezyk to do the shooting. Woodall was convicted of the same felony as party to a crime. If they both complete probation successfully, the court will consider a motion to expunge this offense from their records.
So far, Cardella has gotten off easiest, if you don’t count pain and suffering. Initially, he was charged with obstructing police by lying about what happened, but that charge was dismissed. There’s a notation in the court file that the state planned to reissue a felony charge of some kind against him, but the district attorney’s office said Tuesday that’s unlikely to happen.
The criminal complaint and sentencing transcript tell the story. It begins in January when Cardella shared his plan with Woodall. They would make it look like Cardella was attacked by some bad guys. Woodall would call the ex-girlfriend and tell her Cardella had been shot, which was supposed to make her feel sorry for him.
Cardella, a felon, didn’t want to shoot himself because felons aren’t supposed to handle firearms. Woodall refused to do the shooting, but he called Wezyk and asked him to do it in exchange for payment in money or pain pills.
Everybody piled into a car. “They drove to a bar in search of a firearm, but eventually went back to Wezyk’s residence where Wezyk retrieved a rifle. They drove around for a while to find a place to shoot Cardella, and eventually decided at the location of Beech Street at the Oak Creek Parkway in South Milwaukee,” the complaint says.
Wezyk stood 7 to 8 feet from Cardella and asked if he was sure he wanted to be shot.
“Cardella said he was and asked Wezyk to shoot him in the back three times,” the complaint says.
That sounds like way more shooting than a guy might need to win back a girlfriend. Cardella also had talked about wanting to be shot in the chest. I couldn’t reach him by phone to ask about all this, and he did not return a Facebook message.
The complaint says, “Wezyk then shot Cardella in the arm, and Cardella immediately slumped over. He asked to be shot again, but Wezyk stated, ‘I’m done.’ ”
Now that was wise on his part.
Wezyk took the rifle home, and Cardella and Woodall headed for Aurora St. Luke’s South Shore Hospital for treatment and to watch their story unravel.
Prosecutor Rawsthorne told the judge there was one more thing. While awaiting the outcome of this case, Woodall and Wezyk went to deliver marijuana to someone, but it turned out to be grass clippings and/or catnip. The victim complained to police.
Judge Dallet told Wezyk at sentencing that he was lucky Cardella didn’t die. She recalled another case in her courtroom involving a guy shot in the arm. The bullet then traveled on, right through his heart.
“What were you thinking?” she asked Wezyk.
“I wasn’t,” he replied.