Wisconsin man charged with killing 6 in botched drug robbery

Jun 5, 2022, 11:26 AM | Updated: Jun 6, 2022, 12:11 pm

MILWAUKEE (AP) — A 34-year-old Wisconsin man has been charged in the deaths of six people who were found dead in January at a Milwaukee duplex.

Bail was set at $1 million Sunday for Travis Lamar Birkley, who is charged with six counts of felony murder. An attorney who represented Birkley at the hearing declined to comment on the case.

The six victims were found with gunshot wounds on Jan. 23, but court documents detailing the charges against Birkley suggest they may have been killed three days earlier.

Investigators linked Birkley to the killings with cellphone data that included a selfie that appeared to have been taken in the basement of the home where the bodies were found several hours after the victims were believed to have been killed on Jan. 20. Investigators said Birkley appeared to be wearing one of the victims’ expensive glasses in the photo.

Court documents also say that a witness told police that Birkley had admitted killing the six people with his cousin during a botched drug robbery, WISN reports. Court documents said that shell casings found at the scene came from two different guns.

The witness, who wasn’t identified in court documents, also told police about seeing Birkley with a gun, cash and drugs believed to belong to one of the victims after they had died.

The complaint against Birkley doesn’t identify his cousin by name. No additional arrests have been made in connection with this case, and police said no additional information was available Sunday.

Authorities previously identified the six victims as Michelle Williams, 49; Donta Williams, 44; Donald Smith, 43; Charles Hardy, 42; Javoni Liddell, 31; and Caleb Jordan, 23. Michelle Williams, Three of the victims lived at the home where the bodies were found.

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Wisconsin man charged with killing 6 in botched drug robbery