Robert Tatum’s brother testifies as he represents himself in new trial after 2010 murder of roommates

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Robert Tatum

MILWAUKEE -- A jury once convicted him of killing two people, but now, Robert Tatum is trying to get a new jury to set him free. On Wednesday, Jan. 31, we heard testimony from a very reluctant witness.

Each day, when Tatum comes to court, there is a security procedure before the jury comes in. Tatum was uncuffed before he represented himself during his double homicide trial.

On May 22, 2010, Rahim Abdella and Kyle Ippoliti were discovered dead from shotgun blasts. Tatum, their roommate, was being kicked out of the house for not paying rent.

Robert Tatum, Kyle Ippoliti, Rahim Abdella

But an appeals court ruled he should have been given the right to represent himself. That's what Tatum gets to do during this new trial.

Dwight Tatum

On the stand Wednesday was Tatum's brother, who now lives in Washington State.

"I did not voluntarily come back," Dwight Tatum said, saying 'no sir' when asked whether he wanted to be there.

A reluctant witness, Dwight Tatum told investigators he talked to Robert Tatum about the murders. He said he recanted what he told police then, and that he was doing a lot of drugs at the time.

The prosecutor questioned him.

Prosecutor: "Do you recall, in response to your brother telling you about a homicide, your brother telling you 'it's true. I did it?'"

"No sir," Dwight Tatum said.

Prosecutor: "Your brother telling you that he asked the Holy Quran what he should do and the Holy Quran told him that he had to kill his open enemies?"

"No sir," Dwight Tatum said.

Robert Tatum

After the murders, Dwight Tatum told police he saw his brother in his car reading the Bible.

Now, Robert Tatum is reading books on how to represent himself in court.

Tatum was previously sentenced to two life sentences for the two murders. Now after serving 10 years, he gets to make a case that he didn't do it.

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