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Prosecutors: Men involved in 2 home invasions, high-speed chase, violent crash, in just over an hour

Data pix.

MILWAUKEE -- Charges were filed Friday, Aug. 23 against two Milwaukee men accused in two home invasion burglaries, a high-speed pursuit, and a violent crash with an innocent driver during which the suspect vehicle went airborne. This all unfolded on Aug. 19 in Milwaukee, and involved Justin Ellis, 23, and Timothy Humphrey, 18, according to prosecutors.

Charges are as follows:

  • Burglary (home invasion) -- Ellis and Humphrey
  • Burglary (home invasion) -- Ellis and Humphrey
  • First degree recklessly endangering safety -- Ellis
  • Flee or elude an officer -- Ellis
Justin Ellis, Timothy Humphrey

Justin Ellis, Timothy Humphrey

According to a criminal complaint, police on Aug. 19 responded to a home invasion burglary near 17th and Kilbourn. The victim said he woke up when two people came into his room yelling, "Don't (expletive) move!" He said one of the people was armed with a shotgun, and demanded to know where his valuables were. The two people then removed items from his home, including televisions, a projector, a sound bar, speakers, backpacks, an Xbox, Nintendo Switch accessories, and a laptop. When they left, the victim went to a neighbor's and called 911. The victim was able to offer a description of the burglars.

That same day, police were called out to the area near 29th and State, where two victims said they woke up to the sound of crashing or banging on the first floor. When they looked downstairs, they saw an individual walking up their stairwell with a shotgun. One of the victims yelled, "Hey," and the shotgun was pointed at them, the complaint said. They then hid in their bedroom, before eventually making their way to the balcony. The complaint said they planned to jump if need be. They said soon, they saw two people walking out of their home with their belongings, including a decorative dish with loose change, a MacBook Air, a television, and an iPhone.

One of the victims utilized Apple's "Find my iPhone" feature to locate the phone, and police tracked its whereabouts.

Officers learned a black SUV appeared to be in the same location as the phone, but every time officers tried to stop it, the driver fled at high rates of speed.

The complaint said an officer was dispatched to the area near 39th and North, and spotted a black SUV driven by a man who matched the description of one of the individuals involved in the burglaries. The officer tried stopping it, but the driver sped away -- traveling the wrong way on 39th Street.

Crash near 35th and Burleigh in Milwaukee

Crash near 35th and Burleigh in Milwaukee

Officers spotted the SUV again near 35th and Highland, and it was pursued. The complaint said the SUV reached speeds of approximately 110 miles per hour, and was weaving in and out of lanes to elude the officers. At 35th and Burleigh, the SUV blew a red light and slammed into a Chevy Tahoe, which had the green light. Surveillance cameras captured the SUV T-boning the Tahoe and going airborne before crashing. Officers then swarmed the SUV with guns drawn, ordering the occupants out.

James McNutt was driving the Chevy Tahoe. He was taken to the hospital for treatment of a major head injury, the complaint said.

James McNutt

James McNutt

"Seeing how dismantled the car was, it was like, 'Whoa,'" said Lucretia McNutt, James' daughter. "He's had to undergo a lot of surgeries. He's broken a lot of bones."

The complaint said Humphrey fled on foot, but he was quickly apprehended. Officers found 18 corner-cut baggies of cocaine, totaling 1.95 grams.

Ellis had to be extricated from the vehicle, and he was taken into custody.

Both men were taken to the hospital for treatment of injuries suffered in the crash.

The complaint noted the first home invasion was reported at 5:20 a.m. The second was reported at 6:01 a.m. The crash took place at 6:25 a.m. -- so this all happened within a little over an hour.

Crash near 35th and Burleigh in Milwaukee

"I just wish it was more role models out here, teaching them a different way to go," said Lucretia McNutt. "For everyone out there stealing cars and doing crimes -- just need to stop all that. You can hurt someone, for example, like my dad, who is an innocent bystander."

According to the complaint, Ellis told investigators he never entered anyone's home, and claimed the property in the SUV was "our stuff." The complaint noted other property was found in the SUV, with owners yet to be identified.

Humphrey said the SUV belonged to "his brother," and the crash was MPD's fault, and officers "should have waited until they stopped." He added, "The police are going to keep chasing us till they crash or die."

Ellis and Humphrey made their initial appearances in court on Aug. 24. Cash bond was set at $20,000 each, and preliminary hearings were scheduled for Sept. 3.

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