A Milwaukee County judge has sentenced a 44 year old Christopher Stokes to 205 years in prison and an additional 105 years of extended supervision for killing 5 family members.
Stokes pleaded guilty in June to five counts of first-degree reckless homicide and one count of possession of a firearm by a felon in connection with fatally shooting of five of his family members in April 2020.
Earlier to sentencing, Stokes was given the chance to speak to the court.
“Don’t know what in the world came over me. Woke up and just had blood on my mind. Something just wasn’t going right. It was, I don’t know,” Stokes said. “The reality is, I can’t take it back. I did the ultimate sin…I deserve to be locked up. I deserve everything I get. I’m not asking for no leniency or anything like that. I deserve it. No one in the world should have done what I did.”
According to the Prosecutors, two 911 calls came in from Stokes the morning of April 27, who said, “Um, I just massacred my whole family. The gun is still upstairs with the bodies,” and, “I just killed my whole family with my Mossberg.”
The two calls came in at 10:38 a.m. and 10:44 a.m., according to the criminal complaint. Prosecutors said Stokes identified himself by name and said he was sitting outside the house on the steps. That’s where officers found him when they responded. An officer asked Stokes if he heard any shots, to which he responded, “Yeah, I didn’t hear them. I did them,” the complaint said.
Investigators found a 12-gauge Mossberg shotgun on the floor of a bedroom in the upper unit, along with a 25-count box of shells, with 12 unfired shells remaining.
Milwaukee police identified the five people killed as:
Teresa Thomas, 41
Marcus Stokes, 19
Lakeitha Stokes, 17
Tera Agee, 16
Demetrius Thomas, 14
The family said sentence is only a small piece of justice, as nothing can bring their five family members back. Four of those killed were only teenagers and all were loved by the community.
In court Tuesday Stokes’ sister had a question.
“I need you to say something to me, Chris. Please. I don’t care what it is. Just say something. Say something. Why? Why? Why, Chris, why?” she said.
The why was something Stokes could not give them.
“It’s like, why? I keep asking myself that. Why? I don’t know,” said Stokes. “I don’t know what made me do it, and I’m sorry.”
The apology wasn’t enough, as the family works to heal.
“Losing those many people at one time, including him, hate is a bad word, but we really do hate him for that,” said Rosemary Turner. “We still love him because he’s our uncle, but can we forgive him for what he did? No, we can’t. Do we understand it? No, we don’t. It’s like; we just got to take it a day at a time.”
Family said the maximum sentence is only one step toward closure.
Stokes’ attorney had asked for only a 35-year sentence. He said Stokes sought out mental health treatment in early March 2020, but the sessions had switched to over the phone once the corona virus pandemic hit. Stokes underwent treatment related to his mental health last June, but he was later found competent for trial.