MILWAUKEE – It’s sick. There’s no other way to say it. Criminal complaints gave horrific details about the last moments of 5-year-old Milwaukee boy Prince McCree.
A 27-year-old man and a 15-year-old teenager were charged Monday with the homicide. The criminal complaint describes scenes of grotesque brutality; the boy was struck in the head repeatedly with a wedge iron golf club and a barbell, his head was stomped on, and, when that didn’t kill him, a ceramic birdbath was dropped on his head.
There appears to be no other motive than the 15-year-old allegedly wanting to kill somebody. The older defendant told police he spent most days playing video games in the basement. When he allegedly saw the teenager choking McCree, he didn’t intervene. He joined in, the complaint says.
The child was later found bound and gagged in garbage bags, and tossed into a dumpster.
On Monday, October 30, 2023, the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office issued criminal charges against Erik J. Mendoza and David E. Pietura for the homicide of Prince McCree, according to the Milwaukee Police Department. McCree was reported missing on October 25, 2023, and was located deceased on October 26, 2023, on the 5500 block of W. Vliet Street, MPD wrote.
Police released this surveillance image they say is the two defendants.
Mendoza, 15, was also accused of three random stabbings of people at a bus stop and on the street, which he said he committed because he was “bored” and got a rush out of them. Neither David Pietura nor Erik Mendoza has a criminal history in Wisconsin; Mendoza is charged as an adult.
Erik Mendoza “was charged with one count of First-Degree Intentional Homicide – As Party to a Crime, one count of Physical Abuse of a Child, Repeated Acts Causing Death – As Party to a Crime, one count of Hiding a Corpse – As a Party to a Crime and three counts of First Degree Recklessly Endangering Safety, Use of a Dangerous Weapon. If convicted, he could face up to two life sentences plus 65 years in prison and fined up to $100,000.”
David Pietura, 27, was “charged with one count of First-Degree Intentional Homicide – As Party to a Crime, one count of Physical Abuse of a Child, Repeated Acts Causing Death – As Party to a Crime and one count of Hiding a Corpse – As a Party to a Crime. If convicted, he could face up to two life sentences plus 12 years and 6 months in prison and fined up to $25,000,” MPD wrote.
Be forewarned the details are extremely graphic.
The complaint alleged:
According to the criminal complaint, McCree’s mother called police to report him missing on October 25, 2023, saying she had last seen him that morning when he wanted to go into the basement to play video games.
The complaint said that Erik Mendoza and his brother live in the house with their mother, Michelle, who used the first-floor dining room as her bedroom.
McCree’s mother also lived in the residence with her boyfriend and their three children.
David Pietura Jr. is described as an associate of McCree’s mom and was living in the basement. The mother slept until 1 p.m. that day. That’s when she found him missing.
On the day of his murder, McCree stayed home from school because he had a sore throat.
After he was reported missing, a detective arrived and noticed blood on the cement floor of the basement. Pietura claimed he and Mendoza were “roughhousing.”
He told police that he plays video games in the basement most days. Pietura told detectives that Mendoza used a golf club to strike the boy multiple times. It was an iron wedge golf club. The body was bound using black duct tape. Gag rags were placed in his mouth.
The detective was informed that Mendoza had committed multiple stabbings in the past and recovered a black-handled butterfly knife.
Police say Erik Mendoza used this knife in the stabbings.
The complaint continued:
Pietura told police that during the late morning, he went into the basement and observed Mendoza choking McCree. He then took a golf club and began striking the boy’s head and body with it.
Pietura instructed Mendoza to get garbage bags. They jointly bound the boy’s arms and legs with tape and gagged him.
They discarded his body in a dumpster.
Mendoza admitted “to going out at night and stabbing multiple strangers in the back or neck,” the complaint says.
Authorities discovered the boy’s body bound and gagged in a fetal position in a dumpster.
The two were captured on surveillance video carrying the bag.
When interrogated, Mendoza admitted to strangling the boy. He said he was playing with the boy at first and then began choking him and using a golf club to strike him in the head, according to the complaint.
The complaint further alleged:
Prince McCree was whimpering so the defendants took him outside and Mendoza stomped on his head 10 times with his foot and punched and kicked him.
He became lifeless and that’s when they put him in the garbage bags.
The first stabbing occurred around 6 p.m. on Oct 23 near 42nd Street and North Avenue.
Mendoza admitted to being bored, going outside and stabbing the first victim in the back. He “wanted to stab someone badly,” the complaint says.
He stabbed a male who was “just sitting there on his phone.” The person lived.
He committed a second stabbing in the area of 35th and Center a short time later. He stabbed a young black male in the spine who was walking past, the complaint says. That night he stabbed a third person minutes later at North Sherman Blvd and West Center St.
The third stabbing victim was a black female. She was sitting at a bus stop. He said he felt bad after committing the stabbings but felt a rush and told the victims “I’m sorry, but you’re alive,” the complaint says. All of the stabbing victims lived.
In a second interview, Pietura said that he saw Mendoza choking the boy but did not intervene. Pietura struck the boy repeatedly with a fist, the complaint said.
After Mendoza stomped on the child’s head, Pietura grabbed a barbell from his bedroom and dropped the 30-pound weight on the boy’s head, it says.
Each defendant took turns striking the boy with a golf club to the head, according to the complaint.
The boy continued to whimper so Pietura grabbed a concrete pedestal for a bird bath and dropped it on his head twice, the complaint said. It says Mendoza never liked the boy and discussed wanting to kill him and wanting to kill someone.
The medical examiner confirmed the child had multiple blunt-force injuries.
This article originally appeared at Wisconsin Right Now and was reprinted with permission.