MILWAUKEE — The third of three sisters accused in the beating of a 10-year-old boy that was recorded and posted to Facebook was sentenced Tuesday, March 26.
Aashley McKinney-Williams, 28, on Tuesday pleaded guilty to one count of obstructing an officer. A charge of child abuse — intentionally causing harm, as party to a crime was dismissed but read into the court record as a result of the plea deal. She was then sentenced to serve six months in the House of Correction and 30 months (two and a half years) probation in the case that was filed in May 2017.
She also pleaded guilty in a separate case filed in September 2018. She was convicted on one count of felony intimidation of a witness/person charged, as party to a crime. She was sentenced to 18 months in prison and 18 months extended supervision — but that sentence was stayed, and she was instead placed on probation for 30 months (two and a half years).
Ebonnee McKinney-Williams, 33, was charged with obstructing an officer in May 2017. She failed to appear in court in September 2018 and a warrant was continued for her arrest. Additionally, a $500 signature bond was forfeited. She was also charged with intimidating a witness/threatening force, as party to a crime in September 2018. A warrant was issued for her arrest.
Jealissa McKinney-Williams, 30, in November 2017 was convicted by a jury on one count of child abuse — intentionally causing harm and obstructing an officer. She was found not guilty on a charge of child abuse, intentionally causing harm, penalties for felonies, Class H felony. In December 2017, she was sentenced to serve 24 months in prison and 36 months extended supervision on the first conviction, and six months in the House of Correction on the second conviction. The sentences were ordered to be served concurrently, with credit for 32 days time served.
According to a criminal complaint, on March 1, 2017, an anonymous call came in to Milwaukee police requesting a welfare check on a child after a “disturbing video” was discovered on Facebook, showing a child, around the age of 8, being “severely beaten” by a woman. The complaint stated that “due to the severity of the video, officers worked through the night to determine where the video was filmed and locate the child in the video to ensure his safety and determine the extent and nature of his injuries.”
Investigators determined the video had been recorded at the “White Birch Apartments” near 76th and Glenbrook. Police learned two women and six children had moved out of the complex.
Prosecutors said in the video, the boy screamed and cried in pain, and tried to cover his body to block the blows from the belt he was being beaten with. The complaint said he was struck with such force that he fell down, and as he was pleading, screaming and crying, his mother sat on his back with her leg over his head and repeatedly hit him — dozens of times.
“I would say my sister is a very good mother and this is not something she would do. She was caught off-guard and it’s not something that happens often. It really rarely ever happens. There’s a lot of lies being told. I feel what I seen then, my sister at a state when she was pretty angry. It’s not something that goes on on a constant basis. There was something going on she was pretty angry about. It could maybe have been handled differently, but it’s a once in a lifetime thing,” Aashley McKinney-Williams told FOX6 News on May 4, 2017.
The complaint stated that investigators learned the names of Aashley McKinney-Williams and Ebonnee McKinney-Williams were associated with the child abuse video that had been posted to Facebook. Investigators made contact with Aashley McKinney-Williams, who stated “she was not aware of any video posted to Facebook.” When she was shown still photos from the video, she stated that she could not identify anyone in the photos. When shown the video, the complaint indicated she told investigators the woman seen in the video was her sister, and she was beating her son. Prosecutors said Aashley McKinney-Williams told investigators the video was recorded at her old apartment near 76th and Glenbrook. She denied any knowledge of who recorded the video, but said it was “taken on her phone,” and said her niece had “jumped her” in February and taken her phone. After that, she said “someone had posted videos and pictures from her phone on the internet.”
Aashley McKinney-Williams told FOX6 News it was “another relative” who recorded the beating.
“She’s looking to retaliate against me and my sisters, so she pretty much posted the video after recording it, but it was her who recorded it,” McKinney-Williams said.
Investigators spoke with Ebonnee McKinney-Williams, who stated she’d been told about the video two weeks prior, and said Aashley McKinney-Williams showed it to her. Prosecutors said Ebonnee McKinney-Williams told investigators she was in Tennessee when the video was recorded.
The complaint made reference to an anonymous call to investigators, indicating it was Jealissa McKinney-Williams who was recorded beating her son with a belt, who was naked from the waist down during the beating. This anonymous caller told investigators “someone caught the children having sex,” and the caller believed Ebonnee McKinney-Williams was in the home at the time of the alleged beating.
Prosecutors said investigators had difficulty locating Jealissa McKinney-Williams and her four children “because they were not enrolled in school, and there was no record of any recent medical care for them.” The complaint indicated Jealissa McKinney-Williams eventually contacted police and agreed to meet with investigators.
According to the complaint, when investigators showed up at a home near 34th and Locust, Aashley McKinney-Williams and Jealissa McKinney-Williams were located, and Jealissa McKinney-Williams was placed in police custody after prosecutors say she told investigators her children were in Tennessee. The complaint indicated Aashley McKinney-Williams let officers into the home once they threatened to force entry. Jealissa McKinney-Williams’ two oldest children were found hiding in a bedroom, even after prosecutors said Aashley McKinney-Williams advised that all four of Jealissa McKinney-Williams’ children were in Tennessee with their grandmother. The complaint said investigators even spoke with that “grandmother” on the telephone, who advised that two of the children were with her — when, prosecutors said, they were instead inside that home at 34th and Locust. Both were found to have significant injuries. The complaint said Ebonnee McKinney-Williams and “several other small children” were also in the home. Jealissa McKinney-Williams’ other two children were found at a neighbor’s home.
Investigators spoke with Ebonnee McKinney-Williams, who advised she was living in the home at 34th and Locust with her five children and Aashley McKinney-Williams and her children. She stated that Jealissa McKinney-Williams did not live with them. She denied knowledge that Jealissa McKinney-Williams’ children were in the home, and said she “didn’t know how they got inside.” She advised that Jealissa McKinney-Williams’ two youngest children were not at the home.
Investigators spoke with the neighbor, who indicated she saw the video allegedly showing Jealissa McKinney-Williams beating her child on Facebook, and she went next door to talk with Jealissa about it. The complaint said Ebonnee McKinney-Williams stopped the neighbor and told the neighbor not to tell Jealissa about the video. The neighbor said she was told that Aashley McKinney-Williams recorded the video.
The complaint said when interviewed by police, Jealissa McKinney-Williams told investigators she lived at the home at 34th and Locust with her sisters, Aashley McKinney-Williams and Ebonnee McKinney-Williams. Prosecutors said she admitted to “whooping” two of her children “once or twice a month, mostly for stealing.” She admitted that the video on Facebook had been recorded at her sister Aashley’s old apartment near 76th and Glenbrook. Jealissa said her sister Aashely had given Jealissa her belt to use to beat the child in the video. Prosecutors say Jealissa admitted to causing injuries to two of her children from “whooping them with belts.”
Two of Jealissa McKinney-Williams’ children were interviewed by investigators. According to the complaint, one of the children said “when he gets in trouble, he gets hit by his Aunt Aashley, his Aunt Ebonnee and his mother,” indicating “Aashley and Ebonnee hit with their hands, and his mom hits him and his sibling with a belt.” He said on the day of the alleged beating that was caught on camera, he had been “talking smack” to his aunt. He said he was hit by Ebonnee and his mother, and the beating occurred at Aashley’s home.
The complaint stated the alleged beating caught on camera is believed to have happened in late 2016. A cousin of Aashley McKinney-Williams told investigators Aashley was showing the video to people and “laughing about it.” A niece of Aashley McKinney-Williams told investigators Aashley had recorded video of her sister beating her child at Aashley’s old apartment.