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Arzel Ivery sentenced to life in prison for killing mother and her 2 daughters

Arzel Ivery
Posted at 10:28 AM, Jul 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-16 19:31:01-04

MILWAUKEE — Arzel Ivery, the 26-year-old Milwaukee man found guilty of killing a mother and her two daughters, was sentenced to life in prison Friday.

Ivery pleaded guilty to three counts of 1st-degree intentional homicide. During a sentencing hearing Friday, a judge also ruled Ivery will not have the chance at parole, and that he should attend alcoholic abuse and mental health treatment, including medication if prescribed.

Amarah Banks, 26, and her two daughters, Zaniya Ivery, 5, and Cameria Banks, 4, had been missing for at least a week before investigators found their bodies in a garage near 47th and Burleigh.

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"Evil is being sentenced today, and that evil is you," said David Fields Jr., Banks' brother.

Tameka Smith, Banks' sister, said she remembers her last interaction with her sister.

"I gotta deal with it every day that I took her home, and now I will never see her again," Smith said.

The defense pushed for the possibility of parole for Ivery, 27, however, he would be sentenced to the maximum of three concurrent life sentences for each murder.

According to a criminal complaint, Ivery's father initially called the Memphis Police Department and stated that Ivery had killed the mother of his children in Milwaukee earlier in the month.

In police interviews, Ivery said there had been tension between him and Amarah Banks since the recent death of their son on Feb. 7, 2020. He admitted to going to her house on Feb. 8 during which time the two got into an argument and Ivery eventually strangled her to death.

Ivery told police he did not want the children to "live in a world where they did not have their mother," so he went into each child's bedroom and strangled them as well, according to the criminal complaint.

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Sojourner released a statement Friday that reads:

"Our hearts are grieving with the Banks family,” said Sojourner President and CEO Carmen Pitre. “The depth of this loss is simply unimaginable and we urge the media to respect the family’s right to privacy during this difficult time.”

Domestic violence-related deaths have increased by 400% over the past two years. If you or someone you know is impacted by domestic violence, please reach out for help. Risk assessment, emergency shelter, advocacy and support services are available. Contact Sojourner’s 24-hour domestic violence hotline by phone (414) 933-2722 or text (414) 877-8100 to connect with an Advocate."

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