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Alleged killers of 5-year-old found dead in dumpster appear in court, face $500k cash bail

By Yukare Nakayama

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    MILWAUKEE, Wisconsin (WDJT) — Two suspects, charged for the murder of 5-year-old Prince McCree of Milwaukee, appeared in court Tuesday, Oct. 31. It was an emotional day in court. Families of the victim and the 15-year-old defendant, Erik Mendoza, were present. While we aren’t able to show Mendoza’s face, or anyone in the gallery, there was a powerful moment when Prince’s father confronted his son’s alleged killer.

Twenty-seven-year-old David Pietura and 15-year-old Erik Mendoza appeared in separate courtrooms Tuesday. The state suggested a $500,000 bail, along with a no contact order to the victim’s family.

After a criminal complaint alleges both suspects admitted to beating 5-year-old Prince McCree to death on Oct. 25 and disposing of his body in a dumpster near 55th and Vliet.

Mendoza is facing three more charges for endangering safety after allegedly stabbing three people just days before the death of McCree.

Mendoza’s representation is fighting for a $25,000 bail with supervision because of his age and past record.

“He’s a 15-year-old child who is facing very serious accusations, as the state has alleged. However, he is a child.”

The judge sided with the state. We are not allowed to show Mendoza’s face, per court order, but he was seen emotionless, looking at the floor. He remained that way even after McCree’s father confronted him in court, saying Mendoza broke his family.

McCree was escorted out.

Mendoza’s mother was equally emotional and refused to talk to media.

The prosecution says they’re confident in their case, given the evidence.

“Mr. Mendoza enjoys the presumption of innocence, but obviously, I won’t charge a case if we didn’t believe we could prove him guilty without a reasonable doubt,” said Deputy District Attorney Matthew Torbenson.

Pietura and Mendoza are not allowed to contact each other or the victim’s family.

Pietura will be in court Nov. 6. Mendoza will be back in juvenile court Nov. 28.

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