MILWAUKEE (WRN) - Walter Ellis, the Milwaukee man charged with killing 7 prostitutes in 21 years, lost his bid to have separate trials in each case. Circuit Judge Rebecca Dallet said Wednesday that the 49-year-old Ellis will have a single trial, despite the defense’s claim that the murders did not have enough common evidence to be considered fairly. All the victims were strangled – and they were all killed close to Ellis’s home between 1986 and 2007. Dallet agreed with the prosecution that the circumstances are similar enough to show a pattern. But she rejected the prosecution’s request to allow evidence that Ellis had beaten, choked, and threatened other women. The state said it wanted to show what it called a “continuum of violence.” But the defense called it improper character evidence. Ellis was arrested earlier this year after police said they found his DNA on all the murder victims. His trial is set for next May, and the defense says they’ll probably ask for a change of venue.
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