A Milwaukee man on trial for the murder of two people broke his silence Thursday on the stand.
Patrick Fowler said he's innocent in the stabbing deaths of Jessica Ellenberger and her 4-year-old daughter Madyson Marshel.
It was a move that surprised many in the public seating area of the courtroom. Fowler said he had no part in the victims’ tragic deaths.
“I was telling the truth saying I didn’t do it,” Fowler said.
Fowler said back in March of last year, he was at his girlfriend's duplex when another man broke in. Fowler claimed he hid in the bathroom.
"As I opened the door that's when it approaches me," he said.
Fowler said the attacker killed Ellenberger and Marshel. Fowler told the prosecutor he came out to see the aftermath.
"When I realized I was holding a dead body, it clicked to me I had to get the hell out of there," Fowler said.
Fowler claimed he then ran off out of fear without calling 911 or finding help.
"We're all hearing this for the first time today?," said Assistant District Attorney Michael Lonski.
A short time later, the house was set ablaze, Fowler got a bus ticket and fled the state. He was captured a couple days later in Arkansas.
"I told the officers that I had killed them," Fowler said.
While in custody, Fowler confessed to murdering both victims after an argument. In his testimony Thursday, he said he told detectives what they wanted to hear to get his family members out of jail.
"I was a black man with a white woman's blood on me,” he said. “There was no way they would believe me."
"It's kind of comical,” said the victims’ mother and grandmother Annette Ellenberger. “I think he should win an academy award."
Ellenberger said her family’s one step closer to getting the conviction they want.
"It's all just a ploy to try to get the jury to think that he's not guilty," Ellenberger asid.
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