Wisconsin prosecutors who charged a man with murdering six people, based in part on a “selfie” that he took from the crime scene, say that he had guns and cash on him after the killings.
Travis Lamar Birkley, 34, is being held on $1 million bail in connection with the deaths, which were discovered on January 23, although investigators theorize that the victims were killed several days earlier.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Birkley was in court on Sunday morning for an initial appearance; he is facing six counts of felony murder-armed robbery, according to the television station.
A witness told police that Birkley told them he killed the six victims at a Milwaukee duplex while attempting to rob them with his cousin, but that the robbery went bad.
Ten shell casings belonging to two different guns were found at the scene, which police believe means there was a second shooter, according to The Daily Beast. However, only Birkley is in custody at present for the slayings.
One piece of evidence tying Birkley to the crime is a “selfie” that he reportedly took in the basement of the residence within hours of the slayings. Birkley is said to be wearing expensive sunglasses of one of the victims in the photograph.
Another witness revealed to investigators that they saw Birkley with guns, drugs, and cash that appeared to belong to a victim shortly after the killings.
The victims have been identified as Michelle Williams, 49; Donta “Michael” Williams, 44; Donald Smith, 43; Charles Hardy, 42; Javoni Liddell, 31; and Caleb Jordan, 23.
Officers responded to the home for a wellness check and discovered bodies on the first floor, basement and under a pile of clothing in a bedroom on the second floor.
Ten cell phones were found at the scene, many of which appeared to contain messages related to drug trafficking. Cell-tower data reportedly ties Birkley to the area of the killings; a phone belonging to him pinged on multiple towers around the same time that activity on the victims’ phones stopped, according to The Daily Beast.
As late as March, detectives were still working the case and trying to speak with witnesses about what happened.
“There are people out there who know what happened, who still have information, and we need them to come forward,” Assistant Milwaukee Police Chief Paul Formolo told WTMJ-TV.
Police initially detained four people they considered persons of interest but later released them.
A preliminary hearing for Birkley is scheduled for June 15.
Check back for updates.
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[Featured image: Travis Birkley/Police Handout]