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Man Charged With Killing Milwaukee Officer Enters Last-Minute Guilty Plea

Michelle Maternowski
Michael Michalski, a 17-year veteran of the Milwaukee Police Department, was killed in the line of duty last July.

A man accused of killing a Milwaukee police officer last summer entered a last-minute guilty plea today just as opening statements were set to start. Jurors were selected Monday, and set to visit the scene of the crime today.

Police say Jonathan Copeland Jr. shot 52-year old officer Michael Michalski in the head as officers were attempting to arrest Copeland last July. Officers had a warrant to arrest Copeland for felony drug crimes.

READ: Thousands Mourn Fallen Milwaukee Police Officer

Copeland previously pleaded not guilty to first-degree intentional homicide in the death of the 17-year department vet. He also faced charges for being a felon in possession of a gun and attempted homicide for shooting at two other officers. However, those officers were not injured. As part of the plea deal, prosecutors agreed to dismiss those charges.

Copeland faces life in prison when he’s sentenced May 3.

Teran is WUWM's race & ethnicity reporter.
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