Jury has the case in 2nd trial for Robert Tatum, representing himself after roommates’ murder

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Robert Tatum

MILWAUKEE -- Not many people convicted of two murders get a second chance to try to convince a jury they didn't do it, but that's what has been happening in a Milwaukee County courtroom. The case against Robert Tatum, convicted in the 2010 shooting deaths of his roommates, was in the hands of a jury as of Monday, Feb. 5. Tatum is representing himself.

During his first trial, accused in the shooting deaths of Ruhim Abdullah and Kyle Ippoliti, Tatum was not granted the right to represent himself, and because of that, an appeals court overturned the verdicts. Now, Tatum is acting as his own lawyer.

Robert Tatum, Kyle Ippoliti, Rahim Abdella

Closing arguments on Monday wrapped up more than a week of testimony and evidence in Tatum's new trial.

Robert Tatum

Robert Tatum

Paul Tiffin

"Almost all of them who testified have given, I guess you could say, false information and what have you in terms of my personal theory of defense. I believe multiple shooters were involved in the incident," Tatum said.

Tatum told the jury police were lying, and he was being set up.

"It's striking, one thing the defendant said. He said a lot over the past week. He chose to take the witness stand and tell you things. The one thing he never said -- he never said 'I did not kill those two people,'" Paul Tiffin, prosecutor said.

Paul Tiffin

Tiffin delivered his arguments from a seated position because Tatum was shackled and had to be seated for his arguments. The shackles were hidden from jurors to be as fair to Tatum as possible.

After an hour-and-a-half of deliberations, the jury was set home for the day Monday, and ordered to return on Tuesday.

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