1 of 2 men charged in connection with fatal shooting of 15-year-old girl pleads not guilty

MILWAUKEE COUNTY -- 18-year-old Alex Dixon, one of two men charged in connection with the murder of 15-year-old Melanie Johnson was in court Tuesday, December 27th for his preliminary hearing.

Alex Dixon

Dixon is facing one count of first degree reckless homicide as party to a crime.

In court on Tuesday, probable cause was found for further proceedings in this case, and Dixon was bound over for trial. A scheduling conference was set for January 12th.

Dixon pleaded not guilty.

Cash bond has been set at $20,000 for Dixon.

Martaouse Holloway

19-year-old Martaouse Holloway faces one count of first degree reckless homicide as party to a crime, and one count of possession of a firearm by a person convicted of a felony.

He made his initial appearance in court on Monday, December 26th after a warrant was issued for his arrest. Probable cause was found for further proceedings in this case. A preliminary hearing was scheduled for January 4th.

Cash bond was set at $50,000.

Investigators believe this was not a random crime, but 15-year-old Melanie Johnson, who was pregnant when she was killed, was not the intended target.

Melanie Johnson

According to the criminal complaint, police were called to a home near 35th and Silver Spring shortly before 6:00 p.m. on December 12th. They found the victim, Melanie Johnson, "laying in the hallway." She was pronounced deceased within a half-hour.

Relatives say Johnson, a student at Marshall High School was standing in her kitchen when bullets came in through the window and hit her. A relative said Johnson went into the kitchen to get her infant nephew when the shots were fired.

The medical examiner performed an autopsy -- and indicated Johnson suffered two gunshot wounds "fired from an indeterminate range."

The complaint goes on to say a cousin of Johnson stated that Johnson's brother had "been having a 'beef' with another group of guys from 34th and Silver Spring. This group goes by the name 'Slutty Boyz.'" The cousin said "the problem started when (Johnson's brother) started dating a girl that has a child with a 'Slutty Boy' named Alex."

Fatal shooting near 35th and Silver Spring Drive

According to the criminal complaint, police interviewed Alex Dixon on December 15th. He told investigators he was with Martaouse Holloway on December 12th. They were walking by the house where Johnson lived. The complaint says: "As they were standing near the first floor window, Holloway produced a single shot sawed off shotgun and handed it to Dixon. Holloway then produced a large revolver and said something to the effect that they were going to air out the house."

A short time later, the complaint says Dixon and Holloway then "shot into the house. Dixon only shot one time, aiming high so he would not hit anyone. He saw Holloway was shooting into the residence through the same window into which he had fired the shotgun." Dixon told police he ran after that. Dixon indicated he "dropped the shotgun after firing it, and he saw Holloway pick up the gun after Holloway was done shooting."

Alex Dixon, Martaouse Holloway

Nine days after the crime, Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn called for the violence against children to end.

Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn

"I mean, how many young people have we had murdered in the city in the last three years because imbeciles with guns shot up the wrong house -- or meant to shoot somebody else -- or were shooting at each other," Flynn said. "We have a senseless murder over foolishness. It's awful. We're glad we've made an arrest. We know we're seeking another suspect. So we'll be able to solve this crime so to speak, but it's a little consolation to the families."

Chief Flynn told reporters on Wednesday the entire community needs to take action against this kind of behavior.

"We can't fix this issue until more people send the consistent message that using deadly violence to redress beefs and grudges and insults is wildly wrong," Flynn said.

Fatal shooting near 35th and Silver Spring Drive