‘Be prepared to die:’ Man accused of stabbing girlfriend’s father 6 times near 39th and Chambers

Travelle Wilks

Travelle Wilks

MILWAUKEE — A Milwaukee man faces attempted homicide charges, accused of stabbing his girlfriend’s father near 39th and Chambers after the father arrived at their home following a call from the woman, who indicated she had been threatened and feared for her life.

Travelle Wilks, 34, faces the following charges:

  • Attempted first degree intentional homicide, use of a dangerous weapon
  • First degree reckless injury, use of a dangerous weapon
  • Operating a motor vehicle without owner’s consent
  • Disorderly conduct, domestic abuse assessments — two counts
  • Substantial battery (substantial bodily harm with intent to cause bodily harm), domestic abuse assessments

According to a criminal complaint, Wilks’ live-in girlfriend said on April 10, he came home and went into her bedroom — sitting on her injured hand. She said she told him to get off, and he “became agitated, threatened her and tried to start a physical with her.” She called her father to come over because she feared for her safety, and Wilks left before he arrived. She said when she called her father, Wilks said, “Whoever that is on the phone, tell them if they come over here, be prepared to die.” She said her father arrived shortly after Wilks left, and Wilks came back soon after. She said Wilks and her father got into an argument, and Wilks “pulled out a pocket knife” on him. She said her father struck Wilks with a broomstick, and Wilks stabbed her father several times. She said during a struggle, Wilks dropped the knife and she threw it to get it away from him. She said when her father “went limp,” Wilks let go of him. She said she then ran from the home to contact police, and when she returned, she noticed her father’s vehicle had been taken by Wilks.

Investigators spoke with the victim’s father’s significant other, who was present during the incident. She said after they arrived at the home, Wilks arrived driving the victim’s father’s vehicle. She said Wilks was holding a bottle of alcohol, and the victim’s father told him “he was not there to cause any problems, but Wilks should pack up his stuff and leave.” Wilks became upset and said no one was going to tell him to leave his house. The victim’s father then went into the kitchen to get a broom, as others tried to keep him away from Wilks. She indicated the fight stopped when Wilks saw that the victim’s father was bleeding. Wilks then grabbed keys that fell on the floor and left in the victim’s father’s vehicle.

The victim’s father told investigators when he arrived, Wilks “pulled out a four-inch knife and stated, ‘I’ll kill anybody that tries to do anything about it.'” He said he armed himself with a broom and during the argument, Wilks “charged at” him and he tried to hit Wilks with the broom. He said they struggled over the knife until he “blacked out due to his injuries.” He said the next thing he could remember was waking up at the hospital. There, it was learned he had suffered six stab wounds to his stomach, one under his armpit and one to the leg that was significant enough to require a tourniquet.

Wilks told police he was confronted by the victim’s father at the home, and he was struck in the head by the broom, causing a laceration, the complaint said. He said he then “took out a knife and rushed’ the victim’s father, stabbing him at least twice with the knife in the arm and stomach. Once Wilks noticed he was bleeding, he left after finding car keys — and he said he eventually abandoned the vehicle, according to the complaint. He said he “walked around for a bit” and then went to the hospital for treatment and to turn himself in to authorities.

The complaint made reference to an incident from September 2018, in which the victim indicated she was with Wilks at a home near 32nd and Wisconsin, where an argument turned physical. She said she and Wilks were “both pushing each other,” and at one point, Wilks “body slammed” her on a couch and then got on top of her — punching her in the face, which caused a laceration to her nose. She received three stitches at the hospital.

Wilks made his initial court appearance on April 13. Probable cause was found for further proceedings, and cash bond was set at $65,000. A preliminary hearing was scheduled for April 19.

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