The murder trial of 20-year-old Daniel Tate is taking place in Kenosha County, Wisconsin. Prosecutors say Tate he choked 17-year-old Olivia Mackay to death while at a Lake Michigan beach on July 23, 2017. Then he and friend Jamari Cook allegedly put the victim’s body in the trunk of her car, and dumped her corpse at at a country road in the village of Mount Pleasant.
Prosecutors claim that Tate had a history of choking women. Three women are set to be called as witnesses, and are expected to say he either choked them during consensual sex or discussed wanting to choke them.
Defense lawyer Carl B. Johnson argued in May that the testimony was prejudicial, and disconnected to what allegedly happened the day of Mackay’s death.
Tate allegedly communicated with Mackay online before the incident, writing, “just so you know I get freaky.”
At the time, he told investigators that a “mysterious person” killed the victim.
Cook, who was charged in 2017 with helping hide the body, is expected to say that he witnessed Tate kill Mackay.
Cook allegedly told investigators that Tate put a knee on the victim’s back, and the other foot in the water while “he had his hands by her head and shoulder area.” Tate then took what seemed to be an apron, put it around Mackay’s neck, and pulled back, Cook allegedly said.
In May, Johnson cast doubt on that testimony.
“He’s basically saying that just out of the blue Mr. Tate put Ms. Mackay in a sleeper hold,” Johnson said.
Judge Bruce Schroeder allowed the testimony, and said it suggested an M.O.
The defendant faces a count each of first-degree intentional homicide, hiding a corpse, and taking and driving a vehicle without consent. His attorneys of record are Johnson, and Lauren Breckenfelder. Kenosha County District Attorney Michael Graveley will prosecute the case.
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