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Milwaukee man gets 205 years for killing family: 'I deserve to be locked up'

By
Zarrin Ahmed

July 28 (UPI) -- A Wisconsin man has been sentenced to more than 200 years in prison for killing members of his family -- including three teenagers -- in a shooting massacre more than a year ago.

Christopher Stokes of Milwaukee pleaded guilty last month to five counts of first-degree reckless homicide for the shootings, which occurred in April 2020. He was sentenced on Tuesday.

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The 205-year sentence -- 40 years for each death plus five years for illegal possession of a firearm -- was handed down by Milwaukee County Judge Michelle Havas. It was the maximum sentence available.

Stokes killed Teresa Thomas, 41; Tiera Agee, 16; Demetrius Thomas, 14; Marcus Stokes, 19; and Lakeitha Stokes, 17. He spared his 3-year-old grandson, who prosecutors said pleaded with Stokes not to hurt him.

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Speaking at the hearing Tuesday, Stokes offered no reason for the murders.

"[I] don't know what in the world came over me. [I] woke up and just had blood on my mind," he said, according to WITI-TV.

"I can't take it back. I did the ultimate sin ... I deserve to be locked up. I deserve everything I get. ... No one in the world should have done what I did."

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Defense attorney Natan Opland-Dobs said Stokes has post-traumatic stress disorder from being set on fire by one of his siblings as a child.

The court considered whether Stokes qualified for a plea of not guilty by reason of mental disease. However, neither of two doctors who examined him said they could support such a plea.

Stokes was convicted of domestic violence charges in 2002 and was arrested in 1997 on suspicion of child abuse.

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Opland-Dobs said Stokes started attending anger management sessions two months before the shootings, but they were disrupted by COVID-19 social distancing measures.

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