MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee County District Attorney's Office issued new charges against the mother of a 6-year-old boy killed last year, accusing the mother of having a direct role in the death of the child.
Tasha Rockow appeared in court Wednesday. She was originally charged with felony chronic child neglect and false imprisonment after her son Hank Brown-Rockow died last September.
Deputy District Attorney (DDA) Matthew Torbenson addressed the court, announcing they were adding a third charge of repeated physical abuse of a child resulting in death. He told the court his office has learned more about Rockow's role in the child's death since she was first charged.
"Based on that we’ve increased the charge," Torbenson said. "We’ve added count three which now establishes, at least from the state’s perspective, not just a neglect theory for responsibility in the homicide of Hank, but also a direct role by Ms. Rockow in producing the death of that child."
Family friends of Hank's father, Beau Brown, were in court Wednesday, including Christine Last. She said she was a longtime babysitter for Hank and a close family friend to Brown, who died in a car crash in 2020. She and her family call Hank by his nickname, Asher.
Last said they travel into Milwaukee every time Rockow has a court appearance.
"To be Asher’s voice, for me and my kids to get some kind of closure, if that’s even possible," Last said.
Rockow gained custody of Hank after Brown's death in 2020.
The next year, first responders found Hank with a stab wound and reported his body was covered in bruises in a West Allis home last September, according to the criminal complaint. That complaint states Rockow called 9-1-1, claiming he stabbed himself while playing with a knife.
Those first responders reported Brown-Rockow was cold to the touch, appeared malnourished and his condition was "far worse than a stab wound."
That criminal complaint also stated the cause of death was blunt force trauma to the torso, not a stab wound.
Rockow plead not guilty to all charges, including the new one issued Wednesday. Her trial is scheduled to begin in August.