Robert “Honest Bob” McGillis, 36, of Sheboygan Falls, was killed in a fight with two Illinois men at the Brat Stop in Bristol, near Kenosha, on December 19, 1999. McGillis was holding a pink carnation given to him by his girlfriend while she put on her coat, and one of the men said, apparently in jest, “Oh, I thought you were holding the flower for me.” A short time later, McGillis punched the man in the face, and the second man came to the other man’s aid, the letter said. The two men left McGillis unconscious outside the Brat Stop and fled in the limousine they had taken to the bar earlier. They were stopped by police on Highway 50 in Paddock Lake.
In a letter sent late February 2000 to attorney Jeffrey Reitz, representing McGillis’s family, District Attorney Robert Jambois said no charges would be filed against the men. He said one of the men strangled McGillis while trying to get his finger out of McGillis’s mouth as McGillis tried to bite it off. In addition, Jambois said he would not conduct an inquest because it would require identifying the men, which, he said, would place them “at great peril of retaliation by the Outlaws.” He clarified, “Since the persons involved in Mr. McGillis’ homicide were using reasonable force in defense of themselves, I conclude that John Doe and James Roe were legally privileged to cause this death. Accordingly, I view this as a justifiable homicide and I decline to prosecute either Mr. Roe or Mr. Doe.” The letter states that McGillis was under the influence of alcohol and “acute cocaine intoxication” at the time of this death, which may have contributed to the confrontation.
McGillis family attorney Jeffrey Reitz said he would ask Jambois to reconsider the decision. “I certainly hope that Mr. McGillis is not being singled out because he was a card holder in a motorcycle club,” Reitz said. “I don’t see how that justifies strangulation.”