MILWAUKEE (WRN) - A Milwaukee man charged with killing 7 women in 21 years will find out Wednesday if he can be tried for each of those crimes separately. 49-year-old Walter Ellis has pleaded not guilty to murder and homicide charges in the women’s deaths – which occurred between 1986 and 2007. His lawyer, Russell Jones, has said that killings are not similar enough to be thrown together before a single jury. Jones also said they occurred over too long of a time span, and there’s not there’s enough evidence that’s common to all 7 cases for a jury to consider them properly. Ellis was charged with the murders after police found his DNA on all 7 victims – most of them prostitutes. State officials said the case prompted the discovery that up to 12,000 convicted felons never left the DNA with a state police database as required by a law passed in 2000. That discovery has prompted a controversial bill now in the state Legislature that would make all suspects arrested for felonies leave the DNA with police at the time they’re arrested.
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