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La Crosse man pleads not guilty in South Side shooting

La Crosse man pleads not guilty in South Side shooting

From the What you missed this week in notable La Crosse crimes and court cases series
Ellis C. Wilson

Ellis C. Wilson 

A La Crosse man accused of shooting another man during a rap battle on Fifth Avenue earlier this month pleaded not guilty Friday in La Crosse County Circuit Court.

Ellis C. Wilson, 24, was charged last week with attempted first-degree intentional homicide using a dangerous weapon and felony bail jumping after police say he shot a man at about 12:02 a.m. May 7 in the backyard of his home at 1010 Fifth Ave. S. in La Crosse. Wilson faces up to 71 years in prison if convicted of both charges.

La Crosse Police Department Lt. Tim O’Neill testified Friday that the victim identified Wilson as the shooter four times, one time using a photo array and three times by name.

“He said it was over nothing,” O’Neil said.

O’Neill testified that the victim told him that both Wilson and the victim were competing in the rap battle, and the victim rapped about Wilson, who is also known as “Poochie.”

“He told the truth about who he believed Poochie to be and Poochie, Ellis Christopher Wilson, pulled out a firearm and shot him,” O’Neill said.

The victim was shot in the abdomen, and the bullet hit his spine and pancreas, paralyzing him from the waist down. His doctors are uncertain whether he will walk again, and he remains in the hospital, O’Neill testified.

“There is a chance that he may recover some of his mobility,” O’Neill said.

O’Neill testified that another witness and several anonymous tips pointed police toward Wilson.

According to the criminal complaint, Wilson told police he was in Independence, Mo., visiting a family member on the day of the shooting and returned early May 8.

O’Neill disputed his story, saying detectives saw Wilson in La Crosse at about 5 a.m. the morning the shooting took place.

“We were able to determine that Mr. Wilson was in La Crosse on the day of the shooting,” O’Neill said.

Judge Todd Bjerke found probable cause to bind Wilson over for trial.

Wilson was out on three bonds at the time of the incident, including one connected to a 2019 burglary charge. He also has open cases in which he faces misdemeanor charges of battery, disorderly conduct and resisting or obstructing an officer.

Wilson is being held in the La Crosse County Jail on a $100,000 cash bond ordered by Judge Elliott Levine. He is scheduled to be back in court at 3 p.m. May 29.

Jourdan Vian can be reached at or follow her on Twitter at @Jourdan_LCT.


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