Elkhorn shooting: Person of interest's attorney speaks out

ELKHORN, Wis. - Elkhorn police have a man in custody in connection to last week's bar shooting that killed two newlyweds.

After days of uncertainty, some people in Elkhorn said they are able to breathe a little easier.

"I’m certainly grateful that there is some resolution, that there is hope," said Elkhorn resident Carol Stanczak.

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Kevin Sowiak, another resident, said he was "a little relieved."

Relieved that as of Sunday, police have a person in custody in connection with Thursday morning's shooting at Sports Page Barr. Newlyweds 33-year-old Emerson Weingart and 37-year-old Gina Weingart were shot and killed inside the bar.

<div>Gina and Emerson Weingart (Courtesy: Leland Weingart)</div>
Gina and Emerson Weingart (Courtesy: Leland Weingart)

"We’ve never had anything like that here in Elkhorn that I know of and so I’m relieved that there is a person of interest," Stanczak said.

But amid the relief, neighbors are also looking at the reality of the situation.

"But at the same time it’s innocent until proven guilty and we have to be mindful that it’s a person of interest," Sowiak said.

<div>Sports Page Barr</div>
Sports Page Barr

Defense attorney Russell Jones is representing the man on the police’s radar.

"Currently there are no charges pending and it’s my understanding he’s being held on a [probation hold]," Jones said.

That means police can hold his client longer than 72 hours and he currently cannot post bond.

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"He denies being involved in the homicide and professes his innocence," Jones said.

A friend told FOX6 News Gina was a bartender at the bar, and Emerson was there to keep her company when the shooting happened.

The owner of the bar posted on Facebook, calling the shooting the act of a coward. He wrote that the couple would often come to the bar and became close with the staff before she started working there as a bartender.

His client does have a criminal background; he's been in prison for more than 20 years.

<div>Defense attorney Russell Jones</div>
Defense attorney Russell Jones

But Jones said in this case, he wants the public to keep an open mind.

"Anytime we hear about these types of crimes and they’re horrible crimes, there’s an assumption that whoever the police arrest is always guilty, that’s not the case," Jones said. "So in this case I’m asking the public to keep an open mind until the evidence comes out."

Jones also said he hasn’t heard much from police or the district attorney, but he said if any charges are filed, they should come out sometime this week.

Anyone with information is encouraged to call the Walworth County Communications Center at 262-741-4400. You may also remain anonymous and call the Walworth County Crime Stoppers at 262-723-2677 or electronically by using P3 Tips.