Prince McCree homicide, Milwaukee man pleads not guilty

MILWAUKEE - A Milwaukee man accused in the death of 5-year-old Prince McCree, whose body was found in a dumpster, pleaded not guilty and was bound over for trial Friday, Nov. 17.

David Pietura, 27, is charged with first-degree intentional homicide, physical abuse of a child and hiding a corpse. A 15-year-old is also charged with multiple felonies in connection to McCree's death.

McCree had been last seen near 54th and Meinecke in and reported missing Oct. 25. His body was found around 9 a.m. the next morning near Hawley and Vliet – roughly a mile from where he was last seen.

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Prosecutors said Pietura lived in the basement of the home where McCree and his family lived. On Oct. 25, prosecutors said McCree's mom let him go play video games in the basement. When she got up later, she could not find him and called police.

While searching the home, a police K-9 smelled decomposition on some sweatshirts, prosecutors said. A detective also noticed blood. A criminal complaint said Pietura initially denied any involvement.

<div>Prince McCree; David Pietura</div>
Prince McCree; David Pietura

Prosecutors said Pietura told police he walked in on the 15-year-old choking and beating McCree. The 15-year-old told police he was playing with McCree and got rough, according to the complaint, allegedly choking the 5-year-old and hitting him with a golf club multiple times. The criminal complaint details other gruesome abuse the boy endured before his death.

When police interviewed Pietura, he said he was playing video games and then went on a walk with the 15-year-old. Pietura said they walked to a park and got back around 2 p.m. Prosecutors said GPS from Pietura's cellphone contradicts that information, and police arrested Pietura for obstruction at that point.

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Surveillance footage from the day McCree was last seen alive also shows Pietura and the 15-year-old walking in an alley near Cherry Street around 2 p.m. They are seen carrying a white garbage bag, according to court filings. The next day, around 7:45 a.m. in an interview with police, Pietura admitted where McCree's body was. An hour later, McCree's body was found.

Prosecutors said both Pietura and the 15-year-old took part in the crime.

A GoFundMe online fundraiser was established for McCree's family.