Marcel Jelks pleads not guilty to charges in his 9-year-old daughter’s shooting death

Marcel Jelks

MILWAUKEE — Marcel Jelks, 32, pleaded not guilty on Tuesday, March 27 to multiple charges in connection with the death of his daughter, Miyanna Jelks, 9.

Jelks is charged along with Talisha Lee, 29, in this case. The two face the following criminal charges:

  • Child neglect (resulting in death) as a party to a crime, habitual criminality repeater (Jelks)
  • Possession of a firearm by a felon, habitual criminality repeater (Jelks)
  • Possession with intent to deliver controlled substance (THC), habitual criminality repeater (Jelks)
  • Child neglect (resulting in death) as a party to a crime (Lee)
  • Possession of a firearm by a felon (Lee)

Marcel Jelks

According to the criminal complaint, Jelks and Lee pulled up at the emergency room of St. Joseph’s Hospital shortly after noon on Saturday, March 10. They had Miyanna with them — and she had suffered a gunshot wound. The 9-year-old died from her injuries shortly before 1 p.m.

Talisha Lee

The complaint indicates Lee provided conflicting statements about what happened on that morning. She first indicated Marcel Jelks ran to the grocery store, leaving her home with the six children (ages 1-10). She said when Jelks returned home, he found Miyanna on the floor with a gunshot wound.

When Marcel Jelks was questioned by police and confronted with inconsistencies between his story and Lee’s, “Jelks came clean and admitted that both he and defendant Lee left the six children home alone.” Jelks said the two “went shopping for clothes.” Jelks also told police Lee had just purchased a 9mm Smith and Wesson the previous day.

Miyanna Jelks

Later, police questioned one of the children in the house, a brother. He told investigators Jelks and Lee left their home to go shopping. The complaint says while the children were left home alone, the brother went to check on Miyanna. He told police he “observed Miyanna with a gun.” The brother then took the gun from Miyanna and removed the magazine. The complaint says as Miyanna was spinning around the room, the brother “began waving the gun around.” He apparently “pulled the trigger, the gun fired and Miyanna immediately fell to the ground.” The brother told investigators he ran after Miyanna, “tried to get her to wake up,” and then put the gun away. A short time later, Jelks and Lee returned home. They rushed the child to the hospital.

The complaint also indicates “a red gun lock was located inside the residence on top of a shoebox. Neither defendant used the gun lock to secure the 9mm.”

Jelks is due back in court on Friday, April 13.

Meanwhile, Lee has a preliminary hearing set for March 28.