Milwaukee Judge Blocks DNA Evidence in Ee Lee Murder Case
February 28, 2022
MILWAUKEE, Wisconsin—A county circuit judge will not allow DNA evidence at trial that prosecutors argue links 16-year-old Kevin T. Spencer to the fatal beating and rape of 36-year-old Ee Lee in Washington Park in September 2020.
16-year-old Spencer was charged as an adult in Milwaukee County Circuit Court in the death of Ee Lee, who was found severely beaten, partially nude, and unconscious at the edge of a pond in Washington Park on September 16, 2020, reports Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Lee died from her injuries on September 19, 2020, which included multiple brain and head injuries, a broken jaw, and injuries associated with rape.
Spencer is one of two teenagers charged with first-degree intentional homicide and first-degree sexual assault in Lee’s murder and rape. If convicted, he could face life in prison, according to the Sentinel.
The 16-year-old’s DNA was found in samples taken from Lee’s body during a sexual assault examination and on clothes of hers collected from the scene of the attack.
However, attorneys for Spencer argued that DNA evidence should not be allowed at trial because his DNA was collected without a warrant and that when Spencer agreed to give a sample, his consent was not “voluntarily and intelligently” given.
Spencer was in custody back in January 2021 when detectives with the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office questioned him about the assault. By the time detectives asked to take a swab of his mouth for DNA, Spencer had already invoked his right to an attorney.
On top of that, the detective “misled” Spencer—who was 15-years-old at the time—by telling him the swab had “nothing to do” with his constitutional rights, according to defense attorney Jeffrey Jensen.
Circuit Judge David Borowski agreed and ruled in favor of the defense’s motion to suppress the DNA evidence during a hearing.
County prosecutors stated they would seek a search warrant to obtain a new mouth swab from Spencer and re-do the DNA analysis, which will be crucial in this criminal case—especially since it’s also a sexual assault case.