Men accused of threatening downtown business owners appear in Dane County court


MADISON, Wis. – Two of the three men arrested in connection with recent extortion crimes made against downtown Madison business owners appeared in Dane County Circuit Court.

Gregg A. James Jr. and William T. Shanley both appeared virtually during hearings on Monday.

James is charged with threats to injure, party to a crime and disorderly conduct. Shanley was charged with party to a crime of threats to injure.

Madison police said James and Shanley demanded free food and drinks in return for not having a business destroyed by protesters.

A signature bond was set for both men. They are required to stay out of the State Street and Langdon Street areas and cannot possess any weapons or baseball bats.

They are not allowed to have any contact with each other or Devonere Johnson, who was arrested on similar charges. The United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin Scott C. Blader’s office also announced a new federal charge against Johnson on Friday. The federal criminal complaint charges Johnson with attempting to obtain money and property by consent induced by the threatened use of force, violence and fear.