A Wisconsin man is accused of killing his ex-girlfriend after a judge set him free while he awaited sentencing for a sex crime he already pleaded guilty to.
Prosecutors say 47-year-old Ernest Terrell Blakney killed his ex-girlfriend and then set his own home on fire in late August, Fox 6 reported. They asked he be held until sentencing was carried out for his previous crime, but the judge declined.
Milwaukee police and fire responded to a house fire call around 4:30 am on Aug. 25 and discovered the victim, 36-year-old Nikia Rogers, whom an autopsy revealed was killed by four gunshot wounds to the head and back. Some parts of her body appeared to have been set on fire after the fact, and a bottle of lighter fluid was found nearby.
Blakney had been convicted of second-degree sexual assault on Aug. 15 for having sex with a 13-year-old girl, whose family also had asked that Blakney be held until sentencing. Just ten days later, prosecutors say he committed the murder.
(Video: Fox 6 Milwaukee)
In addition to that, in 2010, he was convicted of cocaine possession with intent to distribute. Now he can add charges of first-degree reckless homicide, armed robbery, attempted mutilating a corpse, possession of a firearm by a felon, felony bail jumping, and false imprisonment to his sterling record as a human being.
Investigators say the couple was still living together in Blakney’s home and that several cars there were registered to the man, though the sole car registered to Rogers is nowhere to be found.
A witness who was able to identify Blakney from a photo said the latter called him around 5 am on the morning in question and said he was “in the woods” and said he was “sorry” but didn’t elaborate further. Thirty minutes later, Blakney allegedly showed up at the man’s house bleeding and “soaking wet.” The witness recalled Blakney had a gun and revealed he had burned down his house and planned to burn some tractor trailers he owned as well. Although the witness pleaded with Blakney to stay and turn himself in, he changed out of his wet clothes and fled.
Police say Blakney encountered another man at a construction site and forced him at gunpoint to relinquish his work truck. Blakney allegedly locked the man inside a trailer, but he was able to force his way out and called 911 after the suspect took off.
The Milwaukee Police Department is currently searching for Blakney. Anyone with information is asked to call the MPD at 414-935-7360; to remain anonymous, call Crime Stoppers at 414-224-TIPS or use the P3 tips app.
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