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Fowler charged with felony murder in death of Derrick Ashford

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Willie Fowler

MILWAUKEE (WITI) — 22-year-old Willie Fowler has been charged in connection with the death of Derrick Ashford — and is facing a felony murder charge.

Willie Fowler

Willie Fowler

A criminal complaint in the case says Ashford was found to have suffered a gunshot wound to the abdomen at 4366 N. 26th Street on July 24th.

Ashford was taken to the hospital, where he later died.

A criminal complaint in the case says officials interviewed a witness, who said Fowler entered the home on N. 26th Street on July 24th. When the witness went to greet Fowler, Fowler tried to punch him, but missed. An altercation ensued, and the witness told officials he hit Fowler, and pushed him down a flight of steps.

The complaint says at that time, the witness saw another person with a black shotgun who tried to rush the witness, before the witness was able to push him away.

The complaint says the witness then observed another person come at him, and the witness told officials he hit this third person in the face and body and that this caused him to lose hold of the shotgun he had taken from the second person.

An altercation ensued with this third person, during which a gunshot went off, and Ashford, the witness’ brother, was struck in the abdomen, according to the criminal complaint.

The criminal complaint indicates that this incident may have been a robbery attempt.

Fowler was taken into custody in Alabama.

FOX6 News had previously reported the Milwaukee Police Department had received a complaint from Latonia Little, Ashford’s mother, who had claimed she was detained at the scene of the crime.

At that time, police said Ashford was shot by a suspect who had accompanied an acquaintance of Little’s to the home to purchase illegal prescription drugs from Little.

Police say Ashford’s mother remained at the scene and was interviewed by detectives.

Police say Little was able to provide valuable information to detectives on the identity of the suspect, who, according to police, Little acknowledged had come to the house to buy prescription drugs from her.

However, in an interview with FOX6 News, Little denied she was selling prescription drugs.

“Whatever they was coming for, or trying to come for, they were looking for it upstairs. They probably was trying to come for some weed. They probably thought we had weed up in here. That’s what I told police,” Little said.

Police say during their interview with Little, Little asked officials whether she could leave for the hospital. At that point, police say a detective asked Little whether she would be willing to answer several other questions to help identify her son’s shooter. Police say she agreed, and the interview continued.

In an interview with FOX6 News, Little says she asked police whether she could ride in the ambulance to the hospital, but police wouldn’t let her.

“I’m asking them if I can go with them. They said ‘no, it’s the law. No you can’t ride with him,’” Little said.

In a similar case involving Darius Simmons, who was shot by his next-door neighbor, John Spooner, MPD dealt with a claim from Simmons’ mother, Patricia Larry, who said she was held in a police squad car for two hours.

In the Simmons case, the Fire and Police Commission deemed officers insensitive, and ruled that allowing Simmons’ mother to go to the hospital wouldn’t have hurt the investigation — but police say in this case involving Ashford’s mother, things were different because police say Little told them she was selling prescription drugs.

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