Justine Brooke Murray on September 2, 2022
A Wisconsin fugitive allegedly murdered his ex-girlfriend and set her body and house on fire one week after being released while awaiting sentencing for raping a child.
Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judge David Borowski ruled against immediately jailing Ernest Terrell Blakney after he pleaded guilty on Aug. 15 to sexually assaulting a 13-year-old girl, despite objections of the victim’s family, WISN 12 News reported. Ten days later, a criminal complaint accused him of shooting his ex-girlfriend, then setting her body and her house on fire.
JUST IN from @NickBohrWISN – the transcript detailing a judges decision to not jail a man after he pleaded guilty to raping a 13-year-old. 10 days after the decision, the man, Ernest Terrell Blakney, is accused of killing his ex. Here is the judges reasoning @WISN12News pic.twitter.com/1IUEklfuuu
— Derrick Rose (@DRoseTV) August 31, 2022
Blakney also allegedly ordered a man at a construction site into a trailer at gunpoint and stole his truck, the criminal complaint added.
He is still on the loose, according to WISN 12 News.
Borowski originally set Blakney free from prison for nearly a year after posting a $5,000 bond he set during an initial hearing in October 2021, WISN 12 News reported.
At the Aug. 15 hearing, prosecutor Sam Tufford told Borowski the state would request six to eight years in prison at his sentencing and asked Blakney to be remanded into custody immediately, according to WISN News. But defense attorney Jonathan Smith asked for time to let Blakney get his business and home “wrapped up.”
“You have to understand the charge for which he was convicted is unrelated to the new charges,” Smith said in an interview with the Daily Caller News Foundation.
“He was in the community without any bail while the original allegations were out there, prior to charges being issued. And he was in the community without any bail for an extended period of time. He then remained out on bail without any problems for however long it was without any issue. He was allowed to remain his status on bail pending sentencing. That is not entirely unusual,” he told the DCNF.
“As the defense points out, there have not been any violations or any issues while the defendant has been out of custody. He’s been out of custody for a very long period of time,” Borowski said during the hearing, according to a court transcript. “The defendant will stay out of custody. He does not need to be remanded under these circumstances.”
Milwaukee police is asking that anyone with information about Blakney’s whereabouts contact them at 414-935-7360, Crime Stoppers at 414-224-Tips or the P3 Tips app to remain anonymous.
Borowski and Tufford did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.
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