Man charged in connection with August crash that killed 2 teenagers reaches plea deal

MILWAUKEE COUNTY — 18-year-old Donte Barnes, charged in connection with a fatal crash at 35th and Keefe in Milwaukee in August that killed two teenagers, has reached a plea deal in the case against him.

Barnes on Thursday, February 23rd pleaded guilty to two charges: two counts of homicide by negligent operation of a vehicle.

A third charge was dismissed.

Barnes will be sentenced on June 5th.

Two teenagers were killed in the crash — 15-year-old Latrey Hale and 15-year-old Demetrius Batchelor Jr. Barnes and one other person were also hurt in the wreck.

Latrey Robinson Hale and Demetrius Batchelor Jr.

Latrey Robinson Hale and Demetrius Batchelor Jr.

According to a criminal complaint, Barnes was the driver of the vehicle which crashed into a tree near 35th and Keefe. The complaint says the vehicle “separated into two pieces.”

Witnesses noted in the criminal complaint that the vehicle, prior to striking the tree, was traveling anywhere from 60 to 80 miles per hour. Several of those witnesses talked about how the vehicle made abrupt lane changes prior to the crash.

Fatal crash at 35th & Keefe

Fatal crash at 35th & Keefe

When Barnes spoke with police after the crash, he “indicated that the four of them were coming back from playing basketball.” He said “he was the driver of the vehicle, although he does not remember being on 35th Street or the accident that ensued.”

35th and Keefe scene