As of May 18th, at least 34 Wisconsin lives have been lost to domestic violence in 2022. That’s one person killed every 4 days. If we continue at that pace, 91 lives are projected to be lost to domestic violence in Wisconsin this year. 9% of victims were age 18 or under. Our website defines domestic violence-related death somewhat differently than the state coalition, End Abuse, WI. We consider sibling and parent/child incidents also as domestic violence, including family cases where intimate partner violence may not have been a factor. We believe that all incidents that happen within a family or intimate partner relationship constitute domestic violence.
January 6th: Quinette Walters, Age 41 – Milwaukee
Milwaukee police are investigating a double shooting that happened near 36th and Clarke on Thursday morning, Jan. 6. Police say 41-year-old Quinette Walters of Milwaukee suffered fatal injuries. A 14-year-old girl sustained life-threatening injuries. She was transported to a local hospital for treatment. Investigators say there is no threat to the public and they know who they are looking for, but no arrests have been made. A double shooting is pushing this neighborhood to its breaking point. Christal West is a community health specialist with Amani United: “She died on this cold, cold ground. People and our children are just becoming very numb to death. It’s almost like breathing,” she said.
Chilton police say the deaths of two people in a home last January were a murder-suicide involving a son and his mother. Police say based on the final autopsy report, 78-year-old Judith A. Mastrocola and 54-year-old Matthew M. Moore both died from a single gunshot wound. Through physical evidence and witness interviews, police pieced together that Moore shot his mother and then himself. Police say the two lived together at the home on N. Madison St. Their bodies were found on January 19 by a visiting home health worker who was making a regular visit to the house. Chilton Police received assistance from the Calumet and Fond du Lac county medical examiners offices, the Wisconsin Department of Justice-Division of Criminal Investigation, and other agencies.
A Milwaukee man is charged with first-degree reckless homicide for a shooting that happened near 99th and Appleton on Tuesday, Jan. 25. Prosecutors accuse Rayshawn Perkins, 22, of shooting his father in the head, killing him. Officers at the scene of the shooting arrested Perkins and alerted fellow officers that the victim was in the back of the residence. According to a criminal complaint, the victim was found lying on the ground. The victim, 40, was taken to the hospital for treatment shortly before 2 p.m. Just after 6:30 p.m. that night, he was declared dead. An autopsy the next day confirmed the victim had been shot in the head from “indeterminate range.” A woman who lived at the residence told investigators that Perkins has diagnosed mental health disorders and had been having more frequent “outbursts.” The woman and several others tried to separate Perkins and the victim.
Shawna Greer will be remembered for her kind heart, free spirit and infectious laugh, her sister, Erica Miller, said as Greer’s family demands justice after Greer’s death. Miller said Greer “loved life and enjoyed making the most of each day.” The 31-year-old mother of three was shot and killed in what Beloit police say was a shooting prompted by a domestic violence incident Jan. 26 at a home in the 1400 block of Madison Road. Greer’s ex-boyfriend, Anthony D. Richmond, 34, was arrested at the scene shortly after the shooting on possible homicide-related charges, but he was eventually released. The Rock County District Attorney’s Office cited conflicting reports given to law enforcement regarding the incident as the reason Richmond was released on a personal recognizance bond. He was ordered not to possess any weapons, to have no contact with Greer’s family and not to leave Wisconsin.
Miller said her family was outraged Richmond was released. That sense of frustration spilled over into the community with many people taking to social media to speak out against Richmond’s release. “So many people are devastated by Shawna’s death,” Miller said. She said she will cherish memories of talking to her sister about anything and everything, something she said they did the night before the shooting that took her life. “Shawna lived for her kids,” Miller said. “She enjoyed spending time with her friends, too. She always lived in the moment with everyone. Shawna became a homebody and she loved being at home with the kids. She loved decorating her home, cooking for her family. She loved just being with her family and friends.” Miller also made a call for people who are victims of domestic violence to seek help before it is too late. “When they show you who they truly are, believe them,” Miller said. “Don’t let them talk you into staying. At one point in time, we have all existed without a partner. If a relationship is abusive, neither of you are happy, so just end the relationship, not a life.”
A GoFundMe has been set up for the family.
The La Crosse Police Department says officers responded to 1026 Charles Street at 7:21 PM Wednesday for a possible deceased call. Two people and a dog were found dead inside the residence, and the individuals have been identified as 25-year-old Allison Rogers and 26-year-old Jordan Garcia. Preliminary evidence from police suggests the pair died as a result of a murder-suicide incident of domestic violence, with Garcia shooting the dog and Rogers before taking his own life. The La Crosse Police Department says the investigation is active and ongoing.
February 3rd – Eleya Strebe, age 29 – Kelly, WI
Northern Wisconsin authorities says a man died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound hours after his wife was found dead. The incident began around 7 p.m. Thursday when the The Bayfield County Sheriff’s Office received a report of a vehicle in the ditch on Highway 118 in the Town of Kelly, which is southwest of Ashland. EMT’s found the female driver of the vehicle dead with what appeared to be a fatal gunshot wound. Authorities say the death is suspected to be a homicide and an autopsy was planned. The woman’s husband was deemed to be a person of interest and the Bayfield and Ashland County sheriff’s offices began looking for him.
At about 1 a.m. Friday, the husband’s vehicle drove past an Ashland County sheriff’s deputy in the Town of Gingles. The deputy began to follow the vehicle and it accelerated to a high speed before the driver suddenly stopped in the middle of the road. Other deputies responded to the scene to serve as backup. After the man didn’t reply to shouted commands, deputies approached the vehicle and found the man dead from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.
February 5th – Arieuna Reed, age 23, Michael Edward Anderson, age 31, Brown Deer, WI
The suspect went on Facebook Live before turning the gun on himself. The disturbing video is still making the rounds on social media even though the suspect’s Facebook page has been taken down since the incident. The medical examiner has identified the suspect in the shooting as 26-year-old Larvell Huddleston. Authorities say the shooting started as a domestic dispute.Huddleston went on Facebook Live after fatally shooting the mother of his son. She’s been identified as 23-year-old Arieuna Reed.
Huddleston also shot two other people in the parking lot of his apartment complex. The medical examiner identified one of them as 31-year-old Michael Edward Anderson.The other victim shot by Huddelston survived. His name is Eric Lewis. He was shot in the leg while trying to help. Police say Huddelston shot at officers on the scene, officers did not return fire. The medical examiner says Huddelston eventually turned the gun on himself. Authorities say the couple’s 2-year-old child was not injured.
February 10th – Jada Clay, age 10, Milwaukee, WI
The mother of 10-year-old Jada Clay has been charged with first-degree reckless homicide after the daughter was found dead in their home on Milwaukee’s north side last week. The complaint alleges the mother, Henrietta Rogers, was the only person who had access to their home, in the 4700 block of North 44th Street, after the two had a tense morning and Jada refused to go to school. Rogers is in custody and was scheduled to make her initial appearance in court Tuesday morning.
According to the criminal complaint: Jada lived with her mother and 15-year-old sister in the upper unit of a duplex whose lower unit is vacant. The three were the only ones with keys to the residence, although Rogers usually hung on to Jada’s set so she wouldn’t lose them. Jada’s sister told police Jada and Rogers began fighting Wednesday evening when Jada refused to let Rogers put braids in her hair. The fight continued the next morning, and the sister said she could hear Rogers pleading with Jada in the bathroom to allow her hair to be braided. At one point, the sister heard a loud bang and rushed to the bathroom to see what happened. She saw Rogers on the floor holding a mirror that fell off the wall; Jada was lying on the floor and the sink was now loose from the wall. But the sister didn’t see any injuries on Jada’s body. Rogers walked Jada to her room and told her to get ready for school. Rogers then left the residence to get gas and said she would be back to take them to class. But Rogers didn’t return soon enough and Jada’s sister began to worry she would be late for school. She offered to walk with Jada, but she told her sister she was not going to school. She then closed her bedroom door and locked it. The sister told police she left the home and locked the door to their upstairs unit and the front door to the building behind her. Hours later, after school ended, the sister called Rogers for a ride but she didn’t answer. Her adult brother picked her up instead and the two ran several errands until they returned home shortly before 8 p.m. There, they found the entrance to the duplex locked but the door to their unit ajar, with no signs of forced entry. After making their way inside, they used a screwdriver to unlock Jada’s bedroom door and found her lying face down on the ground, cold to the touch. The preliminary cause of death was determined to be asphyxia, according to the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner’s Office. Investigators found bruising and hemorrhaging to her upper body and neck. About an hour later, police received a call about a woman who was crying and asking for help in Schlitz Park, about six miles south of the family’s home. Police found Rogers there and informed her that her daughter had just been found severely injured. Rogers would not give police permission to search the rest of her home and never asked to see Jada or for more information about her condition. She was also found with drawings made by Jada and papers with notes saying, “I love you Jada” and “I’ve never done nothing to go to jail.”
February 10th – Unnamed man, age 22, Milwaukee, WI
A Milwaukee woman is charged with first-degree intentional homicide in the stabbing death of a 22-year-old man on the city’s south side. The accused is Curtisha Adams, age 22. According to the criminal complaint, police were dispatched to a residence near 10th and Greenfield on the city’s south side early on Thursday, Feb. 10 for a report of a stabbing. Officers located the 22-year-old victim, who was taken to Froedtert Hospital where he was later pronounced deceased.
Officers on the scene located two women — Adams and another woman. They both “reported that the victim ‘showed up’ at the residence and had been stabbed,” the complaint says. But officers noted inconsistencies in the statements — and asked for consent to search the residence. A short while later, detectives “located a silver knife with a black handle that appeared to have blood on and around the blade,” the complaint says. Both women were taken into custody for questioning.
The court documents say Adams had recently moved in with the second woman in December — and that Adams had been dating (the victim) — but they were recently broken up. After midnight, Adams, the second woman and the victim were back at the residence. An argument unfolded between Adams and the victim. The complaint says the victim at one point had Adams “in a headlock, punching her in the head and stomach.” Eventually the victim let Adams go — and she went to get a knife from the kitchen. The complaint says the “defendant walked over to (the victim) and swung the knife two times. (The victim) was trying to grab the knife, and was trying to grab the defendant and punch her.” At that point, the second woman said the victim “pulled a gun from his pocket and tried to rack it” and then “hit the defendant on the side of the head with the gun,” the complaint says. The woman also told police she saw the victim was stabbed — and told him to leave. Moments later, the complaint says he fell to the floor. The second woman called 911. The complaint says Adams in a Mirandized statement told police she and the victim “got into a verbal argument that turned physical.” Adams claimed the victim “pulled out a firearm and hit her on the head prior to her getting a knife.” Adams also “said that she and (the victim) fought over the knife.” Adams made her initial appearance in Milwaukee County court on Monday, Feb. 14. Cash bond was set at $25,000. Adams is due back in court for a preliminary hearing on Feb. 21.
February 13th –Racine quintuple shooting victim shares story: ‘I was a target’
A woman injured in a shooting at Racine’s 509 Social Lounge was released from the hospital Thursday, Feb. 17. Nakreisha McFarland was one of five people shot and wounded at the lounge just after bar close on Sunday. It was a night of chaos and terror. Several people, McFarland among them, ran for their lives as shot rang out. McFarland was shot three times – once in the arm and twice in the leg – and is in good spirits. “I was like damn – excuse my French – I’ve been hit,” McFarland said. “The next thing you know I got hit right here. The second hit, so I’m still running I see nothing but blackness around me.” Police said the gunman, identified as 50-year-old John Brown, then turned the gun fatally on himself. McFarland said Brown is the father of her two kids.
“I truly believe I was a target of it because I suffered the most hits, but everyone else was just in the way trying to run for their life, too,” said McFarland. She wants to share her story to prevent what happened to her from happening to anyone else: “Don’t look past the red flags. Get out. Get out so you don’t end up in a situation like me.” As McFarland reunites with family, she feels lucky to be alive. “I know, although he shot me – but something in my body and my spirit calmed me and, and I’m not mad,” McFarland said. “I feel free, but I’m not mad.” McFarland said she plans on spending time with her family and hopes she will recover soon, so she can get back into one of her favorite hobbies – roller skating. As for the other victims of the shooting, none sustained life-threatening injuries.
February 23rd – Shad Thyrion, age 25, Green Bay, WI
Family identified the victim of a gruesome murder in Green Bay as 25-year-old Shad Thyrion. The details are disturbing, reader discretion is advised below. According to a criminal complaint, Thyrion’s mother found his head in a bucket in her basement on Feb. 23. The complaint said she saw a light on in her basement in her Green Bay home. She told detectives she knew Thyrion and a woman, identified in the complaint as Taylor Schabusiness, 24, were down there the night before. The complaint said she didn’t see anyone downstairs, but on her way back up she noticed a “bucket next to the bottom of the stairs.” The complaint said she discovered Thyrion’s head in the bucket. The complaint said police went to Schabusiness’ home and found her with “a large amount of what (officers) believed to be blood” all over her clothes. When they asked her what happened, the complaint said she replied “that is a good question.” She said she blacked out during it. Detectives found additional body parts, including the victim’s legs inside a Crockpot box in Schabusiness’ van. She reportedly told detectives, “I can’t believe I left the head though,” according to the complaint. Schabusiness said it happened during sex, and that the two smoked meth together. She said it started with her choking the victim with a chain. Schabusiness was held on a $2 million cash bond and charged with first-degree intentional homicide, mutilating a corpse and third-degree sexual assault. Thyrion’s family wanted “prayers and privacy” during this time, and that “Shad was loved by many and is missed.”They set up a GoFundMe account to help with funeral costs, and new living arrangements for his mother. To donate click here.
March 19th – 96th and Brown Deer homicide: Milwaukee man charged, on the run
A 44-year-old Milwaukee man is on the run, charged in the fatal shooting of a 24-year-old man near 96th and Brown Deer Road last mo. The accused is Roger Powell. Powell faces criminal counts of first-degree intentional homicide and possession of a firearm by a felon. According to the criminal complaint, Milwaukee police were dispatched to the area near 96th and Brown Deer Road on Thursday evening, March 17 for a shooting complaint. Officers arrived on the scene — and located a 24-year-old man deceased in the driver’s seat of a car. The victim was later identified by the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner’s Office as Stefan Owens. Officials say Owens died as a result of multiple gunshot wounds. Milwaukee police reviewed surveillance video from Risen Savior Church and School near the shooting scene. The complaint says the video shows a dark-colored car pulled up next to Owens’ car. Detectives stated in the video you can “hear yelling, as if the two cars are communicating.” Moments later, the complaint says “the defendant exits the passenger seat of the dark-colored car and walks around the rear of the car toward (Owens’) car.” It goes on to say Powell “walks up to the driver’s side window of (Owens’) car, raises his right hand, and fires five shots through (Owens’) driver’s side window.” The defendant then walks back to the car he exited, and the suspect car drove off.
Detectives then spoke with a woman on the scene after the homicide. The woman told officers Owens was the father of her child, that they had been in a relationship for several years, and broke up last September. The woman said Owens “has been threatening her, hitting her, and damaging her property,” the complaint says. The woman told police earlier that evening, she was in a car with her child when Owens pulled up next to her and told her to roll down the window. The woman did not do this and drove off. But the complaint says Owens kept following her, “so she called her brother, the defendant, Roger Powell. (The woman) said that she asked the defendant to escort her inside of her house because she was scared, but the defendant told her he wasn’t nearby.” When the woman went back toward her house, she noticed Owens’ car parked at the intersection. The complaint says “she saw the car was stopped and couldn’t see (Owens), so she drove up to his car and saw him slumped over and bleeding.” She called 911 and “said that the defendant may have shot (Owens) but that she did not witness the shooting.” While Powell was charged on April 7, online records indicate he is not in police custody. A warrant for his arrest has been issued.
March 25th – Unnamed Wife, Richmond, WI
The Wisconsin Department of Justice believes a man who exchanged gunfire with a Shawano County deputy last Friday died at his own hand. The deputy responded to a woman calling 911 from a home on Oak Ave. in the Town of Richmond just before 4 in the afternoon. The deputy arrived in time to see a man shoot a woman outside a nearby storage building. The state Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) says it confirmed the deputy fired their weapon but, based on “initial evidence” the man took his own life. The woman and the man both died at the scene. The DCI is leading the investigation with assistance from the Wisconsin State Patrol. The names of the people involved have not been released by any agency. The deputy is on administrative leave, which is standard procedure in officer-involved shooting investigations. “DCI is continuing to review evidence and determine the facts of this incident and will turn over investigative reports to the Shawano County District Attorney when the investigation concludes,” reads a statement from DCI.
March 28th – Michael King, Age 66, Milwaukee
A 61-year-old Milwaukee woman is accused of fatally shooting her own brother inside a residence near 30th and Roosevelt on Monday, March 28. The accused is Stephanie King – and she faces criminal counts of first-degree reckless homicide and possession of a firearm by a felon. According to the criminal complaint, Milwaukee police officers responded to a shooting complaint near 30th and Roosevelt on Thursday evening, March 28. An officer knocked on the door of a residence and a woman identified as King answered the door. The complaint says she asked the officer, “Did you call the ambulance?” — and stated, “This man shot himself.” The officer walked into the residence and saw the victim half on a chair and half on a footstool. The officer “observed a firearm approximately one inch away from the victim’s right hand, with the barrel pointed towards his abdomen,” the complaint says. The victim later died from his injuries. He has since been identified by the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner’s Office as 66-year-old Michael King, Stephanie’s brother. A detective interviewed King about what happened. She said “the victim was arguing with her and grabbed her jaw, that they fought over the gun and it went off. The defendant then stated that the victim wasn’t dead, he was faking, because the gun was loaded with blanks,” the complaint says. Another person who lived with the victim told police King and the victim “were his brother and sister,” the complaint says. This person went on to say he “heard an argument between the defendant and victim who were in the living room. (The person) stated that a short time after the argument started he heard five gunshots in rapid succession. (The person) stated that he knew his brother owned a gun, so he stayed in his room until the police arrived,” the complaint says. King was expected to make her initial appearance in Milwaukee County court on Monday, April 4.
March 31st – Angela Lane, Age 29, Milwaukee
Police found a 29-year-old woman shot dead in her basement Thursday night near North 30th Street and Concordia Avenue. The medical examiner and family identified the 29-year-old as Milwaukee resident Angela Lane. Police said a suspect turned himself in and is in custody. Family members said Lane’s boyfriend was the one in custody. “This is so saddening it’s too much,” said Kiera Houston, Lane’s niece. “I’m just so broken that this could happen to her. She didn’t even have a life to live at 29 years old.” Friday night, Lane’s family and friends gathered outside of the home for a vigil to remember the light Lane brought to their lives. “She’s always the one that’s caring, loving and got something for anybody,” said her niece Queleyah Davis. Davis said Lane was a victim of domestic violence. “What I know is when she called out for help nobody helped her. What I know is my auntie died crying,” she said. “At the end of the day, our Black families out here are dying due to domestic violence, due to gun violence.” The family lit purple candles, lights and release purple balloons, all to raise awareness of domestic violence.
April 1st – Oliver Hitchcock, Age 8, Sheboygan Falls
The Sheboygan Falls Fire Department posted on Facebook on Sunday, April 3 – encouraging all those who attend the Sheboygan Falls School District or have kids in the district to wear purple in memory of Oliver Hitchcock on Monday, April 4. Hitchcock is the 8-year-old boy who died after being assaulted allegedly by his mother, investigators say. Sheboygan Falls police called it a strangulation. The boy was attacked on Wednesday and died Friday. His mother is now in jail.
Oliver was a second grade student at Sheboygan Falls Elementary School. Wednesday night, police said they were called to his home at the Plank Trail Apartments. His father called 911 and started what police called “life-saving measures” before the boy was taken to Children’s Wisconsin in critical condition. Police said Oliver’s mother assaulted him before injuring herself. She was taken to the hospital but is now in jail. Police have referred a charge of first-degree intentional homicide for the boy’s death, and one count of attempted homicide related to another incident. There are no other suspects, police said. Police said they will not release the mother’s name until she is officially charged, which is expected to happen early this week. The Sheboygan Falls School District said there will be extra counselors on hand Monday, April 4 to help anyone who is working to process what took place.
April 5th – Alicia Hoffman, 24, Kaukauna
Kaukauna police have identified the two people found dead at a home Tuesday. The bodies of Alicia Hoffman, 24, and Anthony Vance, 19, were discovered after officers made a welfare check to a house in 300 block of West 10th Street due to family concerns about not being able to contact them. Based on evidence and autopsy reports, police said Hoffman died of a gunshot wound and Vance died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Police said Hoffman and Vance lived at the address and were in a relationship. The department said its investigation is ongoing.
April 23rd – Leah Davis, Age 19, Milwaukee
Family and friends gathered outside of an apartment near North 66th Street and West Lisbon Avenue Sunday afternoon for a vigil and balloon release. It was for 19-year-old Leah Davis. “She really just didn’t get to live her life,” Davis’ family member Lakeshia Hudson told WISN 12. “She was the sweetest person ever. She didn’t bother anyone. She left home trying to be independent and she was just a sweet girl.” Family said Davis’ boyfriend shot and killed Davis at her apartment Saturday night. “She was a workaholic, glad to get her first place and everything. I really don’t understand why this guy took her life,” Davis’ family member Lisa Briggs said. At the vigil, her family and friends spoke out about domestic violence. “All this back and forth, trying to kill somebody because they don’t want to be with you it’s not worth it,” her cousin Justice Smith said. Family and friends brought flowers, candles, signs and balloons Sunday to honor the life Dais leaves behind, and call for an end to the violence. Milwaukee police have a suspect in custody.
April 24th – Brittany Booker, Age 30, Racine
Racine police released more photos Friday of the man wanted in the fatal shooting of a mother of six, urging anyone with information on his location to call authorities. “We want the public to see all sides of Terry Jackson and do not want him to be hiding in plain sight,” Sgt. Kristi Wilcox said in an email. Jackson, 42, is accused of killing Brittany Booker, 30, last weekend, Racine police said. Booker’s oldest son called police about 9:30 a.m. Sunday to report his mother was missing and not answering her phone, according to court records. He had checked the doorbell cameras and saw his mother leaving the house about 5:30 a.m. with an unknown man. Officers found Booker’s body later that day inside her car. She had suffered multiple injuries, including a gunshot wound to her head, police said. Racine police quickly identified Jackson as a suspect. He already had pending charges, including attempted homicide, for a February attack on Booker and a friend of hers, court records show. The friend had previously been in a relationship with Jackson. The attack on Feb. 27 occurred inside George’s Tavern on Main Street. Police found Booker and her friend covered in blood after Jackson had beaten them with a hammer, according to a criminal complaint. Jackson was charged March 15 in the tavern attack and an earlier incident involving Booker’s friend. A warrant was issued for his arrest. Racine police and the U.S. Marshal have been searching for Jackson since then, but did not ask the public for help until after Booker was killed. “My daughter was scared every day,” Leonard Larry, Booker’s father said. Racine police said Jackson has ties to the Chicago area. Earlier this week, police arrested three women accused of helping Jackson evade authorities after the hammer attack. Jackson is believed to have used one of the women’s vehicles, a Jeep Grand Cherokee, to drive to Booker’s house the morning of the homicide, according to police. Booker has been remembered as a loving mother of six. Her children range in age from 2 to 13 years old. Crime Stoppers is offering a $2,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of Jackson. “The more his pictures get shared, the quicker the Racine Police Department can bring Brittany Booker and her family some justice,” Wilcox said. Anyone with information is asked to call Racine police investigator and U.S. Marshal Task Force Officer Mike Seeger at (262) 939-2437 or Lt. Hanns Freidel at (262) 635-7761. Those who wish to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers at (262) 636-9330 or use the P3 app.
April 24th – Unnamed Girl, Age 20 months, Madison
A toddler who died after she was injured at a Southwest Side apartment two weeks ago was beaten, thrown and sexually assaulted, according to a criminal complaint filed Monday that charged the boyfriend of the girl’s mother with first-degree intentional homicide and first-degree sexual assault of a child. The 26-page complaint charged Marshawn D. Giles, 23, with 18 criminal counts spanning events that are alleged to have happened on six separate dates in April, culminating in his arrest on April 25 after the abuse at a Schroeder Road apartment that led to the death of the 20-month-old girl. According to the complaint, the girl, who was not identified by name in the complaint, died from blunt force injuries to her head, leaving her with multiple skull fractures. Dr. Agnieszka Rogalska said she found more than 10 impacts to the girl’s head. Rogalska also noted blunt force injuries elsewhere that were consistent with sexual assault. The girl’s mother told police that Giles had talked two days earlier about “the demons getting to him,” and he thought the girl “had the demon in him a couple times.”
On April 25, the complaint states, police responded to a call in the 5600 block of Schroeder Road, where a woman met officers screaming “he killed my baby.” She had facial injuries and said Giles had beaten her. She said Giles chased her as she ran from the apartment to try to get help, but then he went back inside. Police went inside and arrested Giles. Officers found the girl badly beaten and with a weak pulse. She was taken to UW Hospital, where she died. The woman said Giles had battered her on several occasions starting on April 13. They had begun dating in January. Other incidents of abuse are alleged to have occurred on April 14, 18, 22 and 23. Bail for Giles was set at $1 million during a court appearance Monday “It’s hard to imagine more serious, grievous facts than what’s alleged here,” Court Commissioner Brian Asmus said. “Here we’re alleging the sex assault and murder of a young child. I can’t imagine anything more serious. I’m not sure I’ve seen anything more serious in my 23-year career.” In addition to first-degree intentional homicide and first-degree sexual assault of a child, the complaint charged Giles with one count each of child abuse, criminal damage to property, second-degree reckless endangerment, second-degree sexual assault and substantial battery; two counts of felon in possession of a firearm; four counts of disorderly conduct; and five counts of misdemeanor battery.
The woman told police Giles was good to her at first when they started dating, but he became increasingly controlling and abusive “over me and my children.” She had three children. Giles started staying with her at the Schroeder Road apartment in February and by early March was living there full time. After Giles became much more controlling, she said, she went through his phone and found he had been talking to another woman. Giles became upset when she confronted him about it, and when she told him she wanted to break up, he began hitting her and threatening to kill her. The woman said that after the April 13 incident, he apologized. The next day, she said, he strangled her in front of his daughter and his cousin, again a reaction to events concerning the other woman. The woman said she went to a hospital to be treated for throat pain. On April 18, she told police, Giles attacked her again, abused one of her children and pointed a gun at her. He held the gun in front of the children, she said. As he pointed it at her, she said he told her, “Do you want me to kill you?” and “I’ll kill you now.” That incident was sparked, she said, by Giles not wanting her children to go to school. The whole day, she said, Giles was “terrorizing us, me and my kids.” Another dispute over her children going to school led to other incidents on April 22 and 23, the woman told police. She said he “flipped out” and smashed her work computer and hit her, then gave her a gun and told her she “needs to go kill” herself. After she locked herself in a bathroom, he broke in and beat her, she said. Later, she said, at Giles’ mother’s home, Giles woke up his mother and his cousin and said he was going to kill himself because nobody was listening to him, and pushed his mother over. Eventually, the woman called 911 so she could be transported to a hospital for her own injuries but did not call the police because she was afraid of what Giles might do if she did. On April 25, the woman told police, Giles beat her and sexually assaulted her. She said they had been to Milwaukee earlier, and on the drive home, he held a gun to her and threatened to kill her. He started “tweaking” after they arrived home, she said. Giles also slapped and punched the girl, she said, then picked up the girl and threw her twice in the bathroom. Seeing her daughter seriously hurt, the woman said, she ran from the apartment to get help. When police went into the apartment, Giles initially ignored commands, then started to get onto the floor before getting up and struggling with officers. Later, at St. Mary’s Hospital, a paramedic gave Giles a shot to calm him so he could be removed from a squad car.
April 25th – Melissa Lemerond Gray, Age 31, Green Bay
We are learning more about the case of two bodies found in a Green Bay home Monday morning. An estranged couple was found dead in a home on Third Street on the city’s west side. Neighbors said they saw two children being escorted from the home. Police have not said how the couple died, but now we’ve learned their names after talking to family members. Melissa Lemerond Gray and her husband, Walter Gray, were found dead in the home, according to Melissa’s sister. The two children who were seen being taken out of the home were the couple’s children — two boys, ages six and two. According to Rachelle Lemerond, Melissa’s sister, the couple was married but in the process of divorce. “She was a great person and she literally did anything for her kids… and it’s not fair,” Rachelle said. “I feel like my sister is the best person in the world… the most perfect person.” She said Monday’s incident was a murder-suicide and a case of domestic violence. “If you look at his pictures, he looks like the perfect husband. If you look at them together, they look like the perfect family.” Court documents show Melissa was granted a temporary restraining order against Walter but a permanent order was denied last month. In the documents, Missy said their relationship was “both verbally, emotionally and sexually abusive” since she can remember. In the documents, she continued to say Walter “is extremely manipulative to the point he uses threats of committing suicide” to get her attention. She claimed he isolated her, made sexual threats against her and harassed her. Screenshots filed in court from Melissa show several texts, voice messages, unanswered video chats and missed phone calls from Walter. “The end result is, he’s selfish enough to be like ‘If I can’t have you, then no one can’,” Rachelle said. She believes mental health played a role in the situation. Melissa told Rachelle Walter was diagnosed with a disorder. Rachelle hopes people who need help will reach out for it because now there are two children without parents. ”If there’s people like my sister who are asking for help, someone please let the system help them and not fail them like they did my sister,” Rachelle said. The family started a GoFundMe page to help Melissa’s sons.
Emily Rogers knew it was not going to be easy to break up with her boyfriend, Nicholas Matzen, on April 27. Matzen, who is also the father of Rogers’ child, had spent the previous 10 days in jail in connection with an unrelated misdemeanor hit-and-run case. Rogers knew he was about to be released, so she texted several friends about her plans. “I can tell it’s gonna be a (expletive) day,” she wrote that morning. Almost two hours later, after telling her friends Matzen showed up at her home on the 2500 block of West Becher Street, she informed them she ended the relationship. When one of them asked if she was ok, Rogers replied ominously “Not exactly,” Rogers wrote. Her friend asked what happened. “I’ll call you in a minute,” Rogers answered. “If I can.”
That phone call apparently never happened, leaving her friends worrying for days about what she meant. After Rogers was reported missing April 30, she was found dead near a retention pond in St. Francis nine days later. Those details were included in a criminal complaint filed Wednesday, which laid out charges of first-degree reckless homicide and hiding a corpse against Matzen, 35 of Milwaukee. Although Matzen denied responsibility in interviews with police, a pair of brothers who are friends with him told investigators he “lost it” and strangled Rogers after being told the relationship was over. Matzen made his first court appearance Wednesday. He is being held at the Milwaukee County Jail with bail set at $500,000. The criminal complaint filed against Matzen implicates at least one other person in the hiding of Rogers’ body, but no other charges were filed in the case as of Wednesday afternoon.
According to the criminal complaint: After reporting Rogers missing, a friend of hers told police on April 30 she knew of Rogers’ plans to break up with Matzen when she dropped her off at her home on April 26, the day before she planned to break the news. The friend then went two days without hearing from Rogers. She told police to speak with Rogers’ neighbor, who said they saw Matzen on April 28 with scratches on his face. Matzen told the neighbor the scratches came from his dog, named “Hennessy,” but the friend thought that was suspicious because her own dog is named Hennessy, and Rogers and Matzen do not have their own. Police eventually made contact with a pair of brothers who are friends of Matzen. One of them said Matzen admitted to breaking Rogers’ neck inside her home. The other brother told police Matzen admitted to strangling Rogers after learning she was leaving him. He then helped Matzen move Rogers’ body from her home to the 1300 block of East Waterford Street in St. Francis. He said they wrapped the body in a rug, tied it with an extension cord and put it in the back of his mother’s Toyota. After driving to the location, Matzen then rolled the body down a slope near a pond. She was found concealed underneath a discarded Christmas tree. An autopsy by the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner’s Office said she died from asphyxiation. In an interview with police Matzen verified Rogers broke up with him the day of his release from custody. But he said he stepped out of the home for 20 to 30 minutes to get some air and returned to find that she had left. He had a visible scratch on his face during the interview, which he said came from a dog. Detectives then falsely told Matzen that a nearby surveillance camera captured him carrying a body out of the back door of his house. He then claimed he was carrying a 400-pound sex doll and would not tell detectives where it was. Matzen has had at least one prior incident with Rogers, and he has also had prior run-ins with police. Matzen pleaded guilty to two felonies after a 2010 incident in which he shot a man nonfatally during a fight between two groups of people in Cudahy, according to court records. After that incident, he told police he always carries a gun with him because he is a member of the Latin Kings gang. During his sentencing hearing, a Milwaukee County judge ordered him to cease contact with the group as a condition of his extended supervision. In 2020, Matzen was accused of burning Rogers’ property, but the bumpy prosecution that followed ultimately fell apart when Rogers indicated she did not want to appear at the trial, according to Milwaukee County Chief Deputy District Attorney Kent Lovern. Matzen wasn’t charged in the unrelated hit-and-run case from April 2022 until after he had been arrested in connection with Rogers death. Lovern said that was because more investigative work was required before charges could be filed.
According to court records: In May 2020, Rogers received a phone call from Matzen’s mother, who was concerned her son was passed out and not waking up. Rogers visited his home in Cudahy, woke him up and learned he recently took Xanax. Rogers, who later told police Matzen was her former live-in boyfriend, said he began accusing her of cheating on him. He tried choking her, but Rogers easily fended him off because he was still impaired. Rogers then left the home. But sometime later, she received photos from Matzen through text messages showing him burning her belongings – a laptop, a bicycle and a baby bassinet. Matzen was arrested and charged with felony arson and misdemeanor disorderly conduct. But at a time when shutdowns were just beginning as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the court case was slow-going at first. Matzen did not make his first court appearance until February 2021, about nine months after his arrest. He was held in a Milwaukee prison, rather than the county jail, for that entire period because at the time of the arson incident, he was on extended supervision from a prior felony conviction. His arson arrest violated the terms of that release. Lovern did not know the reason why it took nine months for the first court appearance to be held other than speculating that COVID-19 delays may have been a factor. Nevertheless, Matzen attempted to get the case moving faster. He alerted prison officials of the situation, and those officials then sent what’s called a “request for prompt disposition” to the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office. Once that request is sent, state law mandates the local district attorney must bring the case to trial within 120 days. Prison officials sent the request in April 2021. The following August, Matzen’s lawyer asked the district attorney’s office if it received the request. The office initially said no, but found the request two days later. Claire Zyber, an assistant district attorney, said the request was misplaced as a result of a clerical error and prosecutors assigned to the case were never notified about it. Zyber framed it as a human error “in the era of COVID-19 and work from home.” By mid-August, the 120-day limit was reached and no trial was brought. Richardson filed a motion to dismiss the case, but it carried on with a trial scheduled for late September. Before that trial could begin, though, the victim said she did not want to be involved, Lovern said, and the case fell apart. Additionally, online court records indicate the prosecution failed to arrange the transport of Matzan from the prison to the courtroom on the day of the trial. Lovern contradicted that, saying the transport was arranged but ultimately not needed after the victim didn’t appear for the trial. On the date of the trial, Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judge Michelle A. Havas granted the defense’s request to dismiss the charges with prejudice, meaning prosecutors could not retry the case. In November 2021, Matzen was back on extended supervision and released from prison. He was arrested again April 17, 2022, in connection with a hit-and-run incident three days earlier outside Rogers’ home, which resulted only in property damage. He was released 10 days later with charges still pending.
Where to find help for sexual assault and domestic violence in Milwaukee
The City of Milwaukee Health Department has resources for sexual assault survivors.
The Sojourner Family Peace Center in Milwaukee operates a 24-hour confidential hotline at (414) 933-2722 and offers assistance with e-filing for restraining orders at (414) 278-5079. The center also offers a 24-hour confidential texting line at (414) 877-8100.
The Milwaukee Women’s Center also offers a hotline at (414) 671-6140.
The Asha Project, which serves African American women in Milwaukee, provides a crisis line from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at (414) 252-0075.
Diverse & Resilient, which serves the LGBTQ community, operates the “Room to Be Safe” resource line (414) 856-5428 and has online resources at roomtobesafe.org.
The Hmong American Women’s Association, which serves the Hmong and southeast Asian community, has advocates available at (414) 930-9352 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
The WI Hmong Family Strengthening Helpline is available after hours at (877) 740-4292.
The UMOS Latina Resource Center in Milwaukee offers bilingual, bicultural, domestic violence, sexual assault and anti-human trafficking supportive services and operates a 24-hour hotline at (414) 389-6510.
A 48-year-old Greenfield man is accused of fatally stabbing his wife in their residence earlier this month. The accused is Braeden Ward – and he faces a single charge of first-degree intentional homicide.According to the criminal complaint, Greenfield dispatch received a call on May 18 from a person who expressed concern about the victim, Jamie Ward. The person stated the defendant, Braeden Ward, “had called her and stated that he had cut his wife’s, victim Jamie Ward’s, throat approximately ten days ago,” the complaint says — and that her body was still at a residence on Maple Leaf Circle.
Officers were dispatched to the residence — and attempted to make contact with a landline associated with the residence. However, nobody picked up. They also knocked on doors without any response. Police then attempted to reach out to Braeden Ward by phone. The complaint says he “stated that he was not home and was driving around, but was willing to talk to officers over the phone.” Officers told Ward that family members were worried about both Braeden Ward and Jamie Ward, but the defendant was not willing to meet in person. He told officers “he had helped the victim end her life.” Ward told officers “the victim had suffered from chronic pain for twenty years and that he could not help her,” the complaint says. Ward told officers when Jamie went into the shower, he then “stabbed her in the neck and she died approximately four minutes later,” the complaint says. The defendant stated that he killed the victim on May 4. Ward was arrested after he indicated he was in his vehicle near a motel in Franklin. He stated “he was armed with a handgun,” the complaint says. But Ward was taken into custody without incident. In an interview with investigators, Ward stated his wife had suffered chronic pain for years. He said “on May 3, 2022, the victim again asked the defendant to end her life,” the complaint says. Ward told authorities he “agreed to assist the victim in ending her life.” Ward made his initial appearance in Milwaukee County court on Saturday, May 21. Cash bond was set at $1 million. Ward is due back in court for a preliminary hearing on Tuesday, May 31.
May 13th – Couple Found dead of gunshot wounds, New Richmond WI
The man killed in a domestic abuse incident Saturday in Chippewa Falls has been identified as 29-year-old Stephan D. Lee. The call came in just before 6 a.m. that a man was chasing a woman on West Willow Street and had collapsed. The Chippewa Falls man died shortly after police responded. On Saturday, officials said a preliminary investigation indicated there was a violent altercation prior to the critical injury in which the woman sustained facial injuries. She told police that she feared for her life, grabbed a knife and tried to escape the home. Officials said evidence at the scene indicated the final altercation happened near the door to the house. Police said the pair has a history of domestic violence. Chippewa Falls Police Chief Matt Kelm said no physical arrest has been made at this time. He said the investigation continues and the case will be referred to the District Attorney’s office for review. The DA’s office would decide whether to pursue criminal charges.