Lantern Project: Since October 2013, Hope House has joined with other domestic violence programs around the state by implementing the Lantern Project. For our part in this statewide project, we added to the lamppost in front of Hope House a purple wreath. We will turn on the light for a week every time there is a death related to domestic violence in Wisconsin. We will post information online about the person(s) that was killed. If you drive by our building and see our lamppost on, please reflect on the deadly impact that domestic violence has on our communities. We know the list of stories we post here is incomplete. We strive to learn about and share these stories but know that there are some that we and the media miss. If you see a news story of a death in WI related to domestic violence and don't see it posted here, please feel free to let us know about it here. Thank you.
February 27th, 2020: Zyana Corbin, Age 3 – Appleton
Demetrius Williams says he stabbed his pregnant ex-girlfriend and killed her 3-year-old daughter because the woman didn’t want to be with him anymore.
Williams, 25, appeared court Monday on charges of first-degree intentional homicide and attempted first-degree intentional homicide for the Feb. 27 incidents on Kensington Avenue. A $2 million cash bond was set. He returns to court March 11.
“Demetrius said he was upset at his ‘ex’ because she didn’t want to be together and didn’t want him to touch her anymore He said she is pregnant with his baby.. Demetrius said he went on a stabbing rage and started stabbing her daughter,” the complaint states. “When Sgt. Thao asked why he wanted to kill Victim 1 and his baby, Victim 3, he said for him ‘freedom and happiness.’ When asked to describe happiness he said killing Victim 1 would mean he didn’t have to deal with her anymore and unburden him from his anger.”
“He was beginning to feel that his girlfriend who was pregnant with his child was beginning to distance herself from him. He began to concoct a plan to kill her and to kill her three-year-old daughter,” Outagamie County District Attorney Melinda Tempelis said.
Appleton Police identified the girl as Zyana Corbin, 3. She had a “very deep laceration to her throat/neck area,” the complaint says.
Police provided a link to a GoFundMe page, which identifies the woman as Tiana. Her name does not appear in the complaint. She had injuries to her chest and abdomen area, as well as her face and neck.
February 28th, 2020: Autumn Horak, Age 4 – South Milwaukee
South Milwaukee residents Jerome Millen and Christina Collado are each facing felony charges after Collado’s 4-year-old daughter died. Millen, 22, could face life in prison if convicted of a single felony count of physical abuse of a child resulting in death. Collado, 21, could face up to 60 years in prison if convicted of felony child neglect, according to two criminal complaints filed in Milwaukee County Circuit Court.
South Milwaukee police responded around 7 a.m. Feb. 28 to a residence in the 400 block of Montana Avenue for an unresponsive girl. Despite lifesaving efforts, the child was pronounced dead on-scene. According to the criminal complaints: Investigators found numerous bruises on the girl, who was only wearing a diaper, along with a burn injury and what appeared to be “a human bite mark.” Family members and others told police Millen had repeatedly physically abused the child in the past, and that when he disciplined the girl, he often went too far.
Millen left the residence shortly before emergency personnel arrived. Police later found him at a friend’s house. Millen admitted to covering the girl’s mouth multiple times Feb. 27, including smothering her with a pillow. He also admitted to striking the child multiple times. When told the girl was dead, Millen said, “so my life is over.” “If all the injuries caused (her) to die, it’s my fault, my fault,” he told police. “If she suffocated that is my responsibility and I killed that child.”
Collado said she knew Millen was abusing her daughter, adding that if she’d properly protected her child the girl would still be alive. The Milwaukee County Medical Examiner’s Office conducted an autopsy and made a preliminary ruling that the girl’s death was homicide with findings consistent with suffocation. Both Millen and Collado were scheduled to make initial court appearances Tuesday. Millen was ordered held on a $250,000 cash bond; Collado’s bond was set at $50,000.
March 2nd, 2020 Milwaukee bar owner says her husband was trying to kill her before police fatally shot him
The wife of the man Milwaukee police fatally shot over the weekend said her husband was rampaging through the bar she owned, threatening to kill her, before officers arrived. Kamesha Taylor said she was in the process of separating with her husband, 49-year-old Anthony Taylor, but he hadn’t tried to hurt her before Saturday night.
Lounge 340, a bar that Kamesha Taylor co-owned with a friend, was celebrating its one-year anniversary that night. The women, neighbors said, were respected business owners who worked hard to keep their bar safe. In an interview with WITI-TV on Monday, Taylor said if police hadn’t fatally shot her husband, he might have shot her or one of her employees in his rage. “It would’ve been either him or it would’ve been one of us,” Taylor said.
Milwaukee police responded shortly after 11 p.m. to the 300 block of West Reservoir Avenue for a call of a subject with a gun. As officers were responding, the call was updated to a shots fired complaint. Taylor said that by the time police responded, her husband had already beaten her, barreled through the bar — injuring others — when she managed to escape, and waved his gun around, firing shots. “As they confronted that individual, officers discharged their firearms at the suspect, fatally wounding him,” Assistant Police Chief Michael Brunson said at a news conference.
The party had been going smoothly earlier, Taylor said. Outside on Reservoir Avenue, her husband was manning his food truck, TK’s Smok’n Smokehouse, which was celebrating its grand opening. All of a sudden, an employee came inside saying Anthony had pointed a gun at them and punched them. Taylor went outside to talk to her husband, and “from there, he tackled me down to the ground,” she said.
A relative freed Kamesha, and she ran inside and hid in the basement. Anthony Taylor followed, trying to find his wife. A friend ended up smuggling Kamesha away in a car. Moments after speeding off, she got a call from her co-owner: Anthony Taylor was firing shots outside. Kamesha Taylor believes her husband also shot at her mother’s car as her mother tried to flee. Anthony Taylor went back inside the bar, his wife recounted, and threw chairs and choked one of her employees. He was shouting that he was going to find and kill Kamesha. “It was impossible for someone to contain him,” she said.
Kamesha Taylor said she believes police officers told her husband to drop his gun three times before they shot him. The couple were married 10 years and share a son. They’d agreed to separate after years of struggling in their marriage. Anthony had trouble accepting this, Kamesha Taylor said. “He was an awesome person. He was a great dad,” she said. “I think it was just issues that he wasn’t willing to deal and cope with — things like anger management.” She said she hoped her story would inspire other women facing domestic violence to seek help.