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Crime News Domestic Violence

Man Convicted Of Sexually Abusing 13-Year-Old Girl Allegedly Killed Girlfriend While Out On Bond

A Milwaukee judge allowed Ernest Terrell Blakney, convicted of sexually abusing a 13-year-old, to remain out on bond pending sentencing. He allegedly his girlfriend, Nikia Rogers, 10 days later and then fled.

By Jill Sederstrom
Disturbing Child Sexual Predator Cases

A Wisconsin man is accused of killing his ex-girlfriend and setting their home on fire just 10 days after a judge let him remain out on bond until his sentencing for child sexual abuse.

Milwaukee Police are now searching for Ernest Terrell Blakney, 47, who has been on the run since allegedly shooting his ex, Nikia Rogers, in the head and setting her body on fire on Aug. 25.

Blakney pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a 13-year-old girl on August 15, and prosecutor Sam Tufford requested that the judge immediately remand Blakney into custody ahead of an October sentencing hearing, where prosecutors planned to recommend a sentence of six to eight years, according to WISN.

However, Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judge David Borowski opted to let Blakney remain out on the same $5,000 bail — originally set in October 2021 — to let him get his affairs “wrapped up” before prison.

"As the defense points out, there have not been any violations or any issues while the defendant has been out of custody. He's been out of custody for a very long period of time," Borowski said according to a transcript of the hearing obtained by the news outlet. "The defendant will stay out of custody. He does not need to be remanded under these circumstances."

Just 10 days later, Milwaukee Police and fire department responded to a call of a house fire around 4:28 a.m. at the home Blakney had shared with his girlfriend Nikia Rogers, according to a criminal complaint released by police.

A personal photo of Nikia Rogers

While trying to put out the fire, firefighters found Rogers dead inside the home from a gunshot wound to the head. A container of lighter fluid was found next to her and her body had several burns that appeared to be consistent with someone setting the body on fire, authorities said.

An autopsy would later determine that Rogers had been shot twice: once in the head and a second time in the lower back, according to the complaint.

Rogers’ black Infiniti SUV was missing from the home. Blakney was nowhere to be found.

Shortly before her death, Rogers told a close, male friend that she wanted to leave her boyfriend because he was “crazy, bipolar” and she had already been “moving her things out of the house,” according to the complaint.

Rogers texted the same man around 8:00 p.m. on Aug. 24 to say she was going to the house to get the last of her things. The friend texted her again later that night, and she said she was physically “OK” but not "OK" mentally and needed some time to herself. He told her he had food waiting for her, but never received a response.

Rogers never returned home and, around 4:30 a.m., he received a text message from the victim’s phone that read “you should have left her alone.” When he responded back, “excuse me” he received a reply that said “She dead.”

The witness — who knows Blakney by his middle name — then asked “This Terrell?” and received a message back that said “Yes,” according to the court records.

A police handout of Ernest Blakney

Another man told investigators that Blakney called him around 5:00 a.m. on Aug. 25 and said that he was in the woods and he was “sorry” — but ended the phone call before providing any other details.

Blakney then showed up at the man's home about 30 minutes later, drenched from the rain and bleeding from his hand. He asked for a change of clothes and, after changing, threw the clothes he'd been wearing in an outside garbage can. Then he allegedly told the man “she made me do it” before eventually admitting “I shot her.”

When the witness asked who he had shot, Blakney allegedly replied that he had killed Rogers because she was moving out and he believed she had been cheating on him.

Blakney, who the witness realized was armed, allegedly added that he had burned down his house, car, his garage and his three tractor trailers and didn't deserve to live. The witness told police that he tried to convince Blakney to turn himself in rather than kill himself for several hours, but when he came back from using the bathroom around 12:30 p.m., Blakney had disappeared.

Based on that witness' statement, police found Rogers’ black Infiniti abandoned in a field in the middle of the woods.

A second victim told police that he had been working at a construction site on Aug. 25 and was loading up his truck when he heard “metal collapsing” and saw a man that he later identified as Blakney pointing a gun at him, according to the complaint.

Blakney allegedly told the man he was desperate, demanded the keys to his truck and refused to allow the victim to retrieve his cell phone. He then forced the guy into a construction trailer at gunpoint and locked him in before taking off with the truck and the man's firearm. The victim was eventually able to break out of the trailer and get help to call 911.

Blakney remains at large.

Milwaukee Police are now asking for anyone with information in the case to call (414) 935-7360 or Crimestoppers at (414) 224-TIPS to remain anonymous.

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