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Superior man sentenced to 48 years in prison

Billy John Kimmes, 48, was sentenced to 25 years in prison after he was convicted of shooting into another vehicle while driving on U.S. Highway 2 in 2021.

Douglas County Circuit Court Gavel 2
Douglas County Circuit Court, Superior, Wis.
Jed Carlson / Superior Telegram
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SUPERIOR — A Superior man will spend 48 years in prison on multiple charges, the most serious of which was attempted first-degree homicide, for an April 2021 incident.

Billy John Kimmes, 48, was sentenced Monday, Aug. 15, after being convicted by a jury in April of shooting into a truck occupied by two people traveling along U.S. Highway 2 in Maple.

Billy John Kimmes.jpeg
Billy John Kimmes

Douglas County Circuit Court Judge Kelly Thimm handed down consecutive sentences for a total of 48 years in prison and 14 years of extended supervision.

The attempted homicide charge yielded the longest stretch of the sentence — 25 years of confinement and five years extended supervision — for a vehicle-to-vehicle shooting that occurred before 6 a.m. April 21, 2021, along U.S. Highway 2 in Maple. Kimmes will serve an additional seven years in prison and two years of extended supervision for first-degree recklessly endangering safety by use of a dangerous weapon, and five years in prison with two years of extended supervision for discharging a firearm from a vehicle toward a vehicle stemming from the shooting.

The victim and passenger were heading to work in Wentworth when the victim heard two loud bangs and realized his truck had been shot at after a vehicle pulled up next to him in the passing lane, according to the criminal complaint. A Douglas County deputy found one bullet lodged in the rear driver’s side door. The other bullet passed through the front door and went through the driver’s seat, leaving fragments on the rear floorboard area.


The owner of the truck told the deputy he had a run-in with Kimmes at the victim’s home eight or nine months prior to the shooting, but hadn’t seen Kimmes since.

The sheriff’s office was able to tie Kimmes to the shooting using the GPS data from his cell phone and a description of the vehicle, according to the criminal complaint.

Later in the day April 21, 2021, Kimmes was arrested on multiple charges following a traffic stop on Tower Avenue by Douglas County detectives. He pleaded guilty to charges of possession of a firearm by a felon and felony bail jumping in connection with the traffic stop, resulting in sentences of five years in prison with two years of extended supervision and two years in prison with one year of supervision, respectively.

Charges of possession of methamphetamine, solicitation of harboring or aiding a felon and one count of felony bail jumping were dismissed on a prosecutor’s motion.

According to the criminal complaint, a passenger in the car with Kimmes during the traffic stop initially said she had been with Kimmes since 1 a.m., but later recanted, saying that was not true and Kimmes had asked her to be his alibi because he "did something bad," the criminal complaint said.

During the stop, detectives observed a Smith & Wesson .40 caliber handgun under the front passenger seat that was loaded.

They conducted a warrant search of the vehicle and recovered three empty magazines for a Smith & Wesson .40 caliber handgun; a black handgun holster; two loaded magazines for the gun; a gun case for the Smith & Wesson; and an empty ammunition case. They also found a pill bottle and a jewelry bag containing methamphetamine, the complaint said.

Kimmes also pleaded guilty to a charge of possession of a firearm by a felon in connection with an incident that occurred between Dec. 11 and 22, 2020, in several locations in the towns of Oakland and Superior. A charge of misdemeanor theft was dismissed but read-in for sentencing. In addition to four years in prison and two years of supervision for the firearm possession, Kimmes was ordered to pay $1,400 in restitution.


Kimmes’ attorney, Chris Gramstrup, argued for shorter sentences than recommended in the pre-sentence investigation, noting the state recommendations amounted to a lifetime sentence.

The state recommended 40 years in prison and 10 years of extended supervision for the shooting, consecutive to the sentences in the other incidents, for a total of 48 years imprisonment and 14 years of extended supervision.

Shelley Nelson is a reporter with the Duluth Media Group since 1997, and has covered Superior and Douglas County communities and government for the Duluth News Tribune from 1999 to 2006, and the Superior Telegram since 2006. Contact her at 715-395-5022 or snelson@superiortelegram.com.
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