MILWAUKEE – A Milwaukee man accused of killing a teenager with a hammer and knife — and later burning the body — called police during the attack to make it seem like someone broke into the house, but officers never arrived, prosecutors said in court documents Wednesday.
It's unclear if 15-year-old Dennis King was still alive when, according to prosecutors, 21-year-old Malik Terrell had beaten him with a hammer and called 911 to report a break-in, saying he had detained one of the suspects. Sometime after the call, Terrell repeatedly stabbed King in the neck with a large knife, according to Wednesday's documents, which charge Terrell's mother and 17-year-old brother with allegedly helping him elude police.
Police spokesman Sgt. Sheronda Grant didn't respond to an email asking why officers didn't respond to the location of Terrell's call.
Terrell and his 14-year-old brother lured King to their house May 11 — the day King's family reported him missing — to question him about what he supposedly knew regarding a stolen video game system, prosecutors said. Terrell and his younger brother started beating King to get him to confess and Terrell eventually began hitting King's head with a hammer, according to the charging documents.
After calling police, Terrell directed his 17-year-old brother, Meakhi Autry-Terrell, to get lighter fluid from a store. He found none there and instead grabbed some from their house's basement. Autry-Terrell told police he saw Terrell stabbing King when he came back.
Police arrested Terrell Monday in Chicago and Milwaukee prosecutors filed a homicide charge against him Tuesday. Prosecutors say Terrell's younger brother helped burn and dispose of King's body in the basement of an abandoned home, but charges against him have not been filed.
Autry-Terrell is being charged as an adult with harboring or aiding a felon, a felony punishable with up to 10 years in prison. Salena P. Terrell, the mother of the three siblings, faces the same charge. Prosecutors say she arranged for her eldest son to take a bus to Chicago to be with his father while police investigated King's death. His charred remains were found Sunday.
Autry-Terrell and his mother had their first court appearances Tuesday. No attorneys are listed for them or Malik Terrell.