Sadly Typical

Governor Evers puts a convicted felon facing open armed robbery and gun possession cases on Wisconsin’s Juvenile Justice Commission.  As Dan O’Donnell reports, this staggering lack of judgment is simultaneously shocking but not all that surprising.


Late last month, Evers named Evans to serve on the Juvenile Justice Commission, apparently ignoring or not caring that Evans had two open felony cases Click To Tweet

Aug. 17, 2022
Perspective by Dan O’Donnell


This is a sadly typical story.

A young delinquent who from a young age was in and out of the juvenile justice system graduates to adult crimes even before he turns 18, committing more and more serious offenses until he’s 24 and faces decades in prison.

When he was just 17 years old, Aundray Evans was charged as an adult with theft of movable property after setting up a gun sale and then robbing the seller.  Two years later, at age 19 and still on probation, he was again charged with theft of movable property and again pleaded guilty.

His probation was revoked, and he spent time in prison, but as soon as he got out, he went right back to his life of crime.

It was sadly typical.

Evans was arrested on September 10th and charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm.  17 days later, he was charged with armed robbery, theft of movable property, possession of cocaine, and fleeing or eluding an officer in connection with a pair of incidents that directly mirrored his first adult arrest.

According to a criminal complaint, Evans and a codefendant set up a gun sale with a man in a Walmart parking lot.  They held him up at gunpoint and took his gun, his wallet, and his cellphone before taking off in his car.  From there, they drove the stolen vehicle to another gun sale they had set up and held up the would-be seller there, too.

A short time later, Milwaukee Police pulled them over and Evans took off on foot, tossing one of the stolen guns as he ran.  When he was arrested, officers found 1.7 grams of cocaine in his pocket.

His modus operandi was the same, but his crimes had grown far more brazen and now had the possibility of landing him in prison for years.

In March of 2020, though, the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic adjourned Evans’ two cases more several months, and massive backlogs at the Milwaukee County Courthouse have delayed trial until October, more than three years after he was first arrested.

Evans has been out on bail for at least a year, but he still faces two open felony gun cases.

On September 3rd, 2019—a week to the day before Evans’ first of two arrests that month—Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers issued an executive order that that reinstated the Governor’s Juvenile Justice Commission, an agency of state government tasked with keeping kids from, well, ending up like Aundray Evans.

“In addition to focusing on system-based reform, we must invest in front-end reforms that prevent our kids from becoming part of the juvenile justice system in the first place,” he said at the time.

Evans was one of those kids, and his story was sadly typical…until it wasn’t.

Late last month, Evers named Evans to serve on the Juvenile Justice Commission.  Apparently ignoring the fact that Evans had two open felony cases, Evers appointed him as a “Youth Member”—one of the 20 percent of the Juvenile Justice Commission comprised of people under the age of 28.  Several have spent time in the juvenile justice system themselves, but none have kept on committing crimes as Evans has.  None have ever before faced pending felony convictions.

Evers didn’t seem to mind, however, and only rescinded Evans’ appointment on Monday when members of the media began asking questions about it.

This, too, was sadly typical.

Just two months ago, Evers demanded the resignation of his Parole Commission chairman, John Tate, after Tate’s inexplicable decision to grant parole to a vicious murderer just 25 years into his 80-year sentence.

Evers wasn’t upset when Tate authorized parole a month earlier; he apparently thought the controversy would just blow over.  When it didn’t, he personally intervened to revoke parole and, when the scandal still didn’t fully disappear, he finally acted.

Only election-year outrage can force Evers to abandon the soft-on-crime bureaucrats (or even actual criminals) he places in positions of authority in the state criminal justice system.  Even then, he only gives the appearance of toughness when it becomes clear that his administration’s outrageous leniency is becoming a political problem.

That leniency isn’t just a political headache for Evers, though; it’s a nightmare for Wisconsin.  As crime surges across the state, its leader tasks social justice warriors and armed robbers with keeping the citizens safe.

It is ludicrous and, yes, sadly typical.