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Amended homicide charges filed against man accused of racing before fatal crash

Tyshawn Combs

MILWAUKEE -- Tyshawn Combs -- the man facing multiple criminal charges in connection with a violent crash that happened on Highway 145 near 91st Street on Tuesday evening, Feb. 19 was in court Tuesday, March 5 for a preliminary hearing. Also Tuesday, for the first time, we heard from the mother of the woman who died, who said this was no accident.

During Combs' court hearing, an amended criminal complaint and amended charges were filed. This, after NicoleRay Brown, the passenger in the vehicle prosecutors said Combs was driving, died as a result of her injuries on Feb. 22.

Combs was charged with:

  • First degree reckless homicide
  • First degree reckless injury
  • Knowingly operating while suspended, causing death
  • Knowingly operating while suspended, causing great bodily harm

Tyshawn Combs

He initially faced charges of first degree reckless injury, neglecting a child and knowingly operating while suspended.

During his preliminary hearing Tuesday, a Milwaukee County sheriff's deputy testified, and a motion from the defense to dismiss the case was denied. Probable cause was found for further proceedings, and Combs was bound over for trial. He pleaded not guilty, and a scheduling conference was set for March 13.

"There was a body laying on the ground," said Daniel Brodsky with the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office. "The vehicle, prior to the impact, four seconds prior, was traveling at 107 mph and zero break application."

Combs has another open case in which he was charged with misdemeanor carrying a concealed weapon, filed in December of 2018. He has a status conference in that case set for April 4. He was out on $500 signature bond set in that case on Feb. 6 at the time of this fatal crash.

According to the criminal complaint, deputies from the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office were dispatched to the crash scene around 11:20 p.m. Feb. 19. Once on the scene, they "observed a 2015 black Honda Civic that appeared to be torn in half." The criminal complaint said the "front half of the vehicle was located in the southbound lanes of 145 while the back half of the vehicle was located in the northbound lanes."

Crash on Highway 145 near 91st Street

Combs' girlfriend, NicoleRay Brown, 21, was ejected from the vehicle and later died after being taken to the hospital in critical condition with massive head trauma and broken bones. Their 5-month-old child, Journee, was taken to Children's Hospital with a brain bleed, and was still recovering as of Tuesday, March 5.

Combs' statement

The complaint said Combs remained on the scene -- and admitted to driving the car. He told deputies "he was at a red light when a Chevrolet Malibu drove past at a high rate of speed." Combs stated that once the light turned green, he began to travel at approximately 40 miles per hour and observed the Malibu now swerving in front of him and trying to cut him off. Combs stated that he tried to brake and lost control, sliding towards the median wall.

NicoleRay Brown

Witness statements

Witnesses told investigators a different story about what happened at the crash site. The complaint said one witness told them "he was traveling northbound on 145 when he observed the Honda and a silver vehicle approach his position at a high rate of speed." That witness said "it appeared they were racing." A second witness also indicated the two vehicles appeared to be racing.

Crash on Highway 145 near 91st Street

Crash reconstruction

A member of the crash reconstruction unit conducted a download of the air bag control module in the Honda. The complaint said the "download indicated that the Honda was traveling at approximately 107 miles per hour (in a 55 mph zone) approximately 4.5 seconds prior to the impact. The Honda was traveling at approximately 76 miles per hour at approximately .5 seconds prior to the crash." Officials also determined "the car seat (for the child) was not attached to the car as there was no damage to the connections or belt."

The complaint said the vehicle, traveling at the high rate of speed, slid towards the median wall when the driver lost control and struck a light pole -- which severed the vehicle, ejecting Brown and the baby.

A review found Combs' "driving privilege was suspended for multiple failure to pay fines as well as a driving record suspension effective Nov. 22, 2017. In the last five years, Combs had been cited 11 times for operating with a suspended driver's license."

Combs' mother's statement

Darlene Combs, Tyshawn's mother, told FOX6 News she believes another vehicle struck the vehicle her son was driving. Darlene Combs wasn't in the vehicle at the time, and as of Monday, March 4, there was no evidence to support her claim that the vehicle her son was driving ended up being hit from behind by another vehicle.

"He wouldn't be racing with his child in the -- he loves that baby too much," said Darlene Combs.

Darlene Combs disputed prosecutors' claims that data downloaded from the vehicle showed Combs was traveling at 107 miles per hour seconds before impact. She said another driver hit Combs' vehicle from behind, causing the wreck.

Crash on Highway 145 near 91st Street

"Somebody hit my child. Somebody hit my child! It was a 2010 Malibu that jumped out and cut him off. That's what I'm thinking it was -- a road rage or something like that," said Darlene Combs. "Yes, my son -- he was not a perfect child. He made mistakes, but no one can judge my son but God."

Brown's mother's statement

Beatrice Brown

The family of NicoleRay Brown believes Combs was responsible for this crash.

"He intentionally killed my baby. No one is ever going to change that," said Beatrice Brown, NicoleRay's mother.

Beatrice Brown said the crash was no accident.

"My daughter was planning on leaving him," said Brown. "His mom, she can get a call from her son. She can get a phone call. I'm not going to get a phone call. You just don't do this. You don't do this."

NicoleRay Brown and Journee

Remembering her daughter as a loving mother with a warm, sweet smile, Brown said she wants more than justice.

"I want him to know the effect he done to me and my children, because you don't do wrong. You do not do wrong," said Brown.

A GoFundMe account has been established in this case for Journee. CLICK HERE for more information.

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