Joshua McInnis

MADISON — After her husband died, Nicole Hayes, today of Milton, moved from Madison to Fort Atkinson, hoping to raise her 3-year-old son, Julian Patterson, in a smaller, safer community.

However, in an ironic and unfortunate twist, Patterson, 19, was fatally shot in Fitchburg in March 2018 in a drug deal that turned lethal.

The youth who shot Patterson, Joshua B. McInnis, now 19, was sentenced June 10 in Dane County Circuit Court to 21 years in prison and five years on extended supervision.

McInnis previously had pleaded guilty to first-degree reckless homicide, which Judge John Hyland said, prevented him from receiving a life sentence.

Hayes told Hyland that her life “will never be the same ... and the pain (of losing her son) will never cease until the day I die.”

Patterson graduated from Fort Atkinson High School and hoped to move to Portland, Ore., start a real estate firm and get married, Hayes said.

He was a kind and courteous person who visited residents at a nursing home, regularly gave money to homeless people and checked on the welfare of a “neighborhood drunk,” she told the judge.

But McInnis took Patterson’s dreams and hopes when he took away his life, Hayes said.

“I hate you … I want you to suffer,” she said to McInnis.

Hayes said she didn’t believe McInnis was remorseful about causing Patterson’s death, but only acknowledged it to receive a lesser sentence.

McInnis was one of three “hoodlums” with prior convictions for violent offenses who should have been in jail in March 2018 instead of setting up a drug robbery.

“My son lost his life due to the negligence of the system,” said Hayes.

According to the criminal complaint, Patterson was accompanying his former girlfriend, Khariyhana Martin, who arranged to sell marijuana worth $700 at a Fitchburg apartment complex.

Martin thought she would meet Travon Jackson at the complex. Instead, McInnis and Gary C. Mays Jr., who neither Martin nor Patterson knew, came out of a building and got into the minivan Patterson drove. McInnis and Mays didn’t know Patterson would be with Martin until Patterson drove up in Martin’s minivan.

Once inside the minivan, McInnis pointed a gun at Patterson and demanded marijuana.

A medical examiner determined that Patterson died from a single gunshot wound to the arm and torso.

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