MILWAUKEE — As he was led from court Thursday, Christopher M. Anderson didn't seem like a man just sentenced to consecutive life terms without any chance to seek supervised release.
Anderson, 24, said "I'm good," as he waved to a relative and winked at the veteran prosecutor who had called Anderson's offenses "one of the most wanton and inhumane crime sprees I've seen."
Over the course of about a month last fall, Anderson, of Milwaukee, killed two people, tried to kill two others and set a man on fire after dousing him with gasoline.
Since his convictions in April, he's been charged with soliciting the murders of three more "rats" from inside jail.
"It shows the defendant and his group believe they are untouchable," said Assistant District Attorney Grant Huebner.
By projecting the fear that any police cooperation could result in death, Huebner said, the gang hopes to chill its community's willingness to share information.
"And then they can do whatever they want," he said.
That's why Huebner requested the absolute maximum sentences for not only the two homicides and attempted homicides, but four other counts ranging from kidnapping to armed robbery to having a gun as a felon.
"It may be academic, but I think it's appropriate," he told Milwaukee County Circuit Judge Jeffrey Wagner, who agreed.
"You should not be given another opportunity to do what you've done," Wagner said.
He recounted hearing the testimony from the man who survived being immolated, shot at, and a leap through a window. That man and his girlfriend had been kidnapped at gunpoint by Anderson's crew who thought the victims had drugs and money at their residence. When none could be found, Anderson told an associate, "Get the gas."
One of the people Anderson killed was Jarvis Johnson, whose brother Anderson and his group believed had given police information about a rolling gun battle in downtown Milwaukee. As his mother drove Johnson, a kidney transplant patient who was not involved in crime, they were shot repeatedly by a passing vehicle.
A witness testified that the men intended to kill Johnson's mother, the better to intimidate people from cooperating with law enforcement.
The second homicide victim was a drug dealer from Illinois who prosecutors say was set up for a robbery in Milwaukee. He was found dead in an alley from a single gunshot to the head. Anderson was found driving the victim's car a few days later.
Anderson told Wagner he is not the monster portrayed by the prosecution. "My sympathies go out to the victims' families," he said. "But I'm an innocent person, in the wrong place at the wrong time."