Two Milwaukee men allegedly high-fived each other after smothering and beating a 76-year-old cancer patient to death during a home invasion.
Calvin Fleener, 42, and James Johansen, 22, have been arrested in connection with the death of Kenneth Latus. Fleener has been charged with first-degree reckless homicide, robbery, burglary and battery while Johansen, 22, was charged with felony murder and robbery, according to the Journal Sentinel.
Latus' body was found bound and under a blanket October 21 in his own home, according to a complaint filed in Milwaukee County Circuit Court. Fox6 reported that 911 dispatch received a phone call "from a frantic female caller screaming, 'He's tied up!'” When police arrived, the woman was screaming, "He's dead! He's dead!"
One day earlier, Fleener and Johansen took the bus from a homeless encampment to Latus' home. Fleener reportedly knocked on the door and asked Latus if he could use his phone. After Latus said no, Fleener allegedly pushed his way through.
He is then accused of smothering Latus with a pillow and punching him while Johansen bound him with a phone cord. The suspects stole $160 from Latus and left, leaving the man behind under a blanket.
Fleener and Johansen caught a bus and were allegedly seen celebrating their robbery. Surveillance video from the bus showed the two laughing and giving each other a high-five.
Fleener was allegedly heard telling Johansen on the bus, "We did good, bro."
After Johansen was arrested, he told police that "he did not know what they were going to do until they arrived at a residence." He claimed that Fleener pushed the man down and asked for a pillow to suffocate Latus. In Fleener’s interview with police, "Fleener admitted to punching the victims several times,” according to Fox6.
Fox6 News spoke with the victim's son, who said Latus had recently been diagnosed with terminal cancer. Earlier this year, Latus lost his wife of 55 years.
According to prosecutors, the victim met Fleener one day before he died after a package was incorrectly delivered to Latus. It was addressed to a woman, and when that woman came to pick it up, Fleener was reportedly with her, according to Fox6.
No bail had been set for Fleener. A bail of $250,000 has been set for Johansen, according to jail records.
[Photo: Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office, Prasser Kleczka Funeral Home]
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