Doneal Bell faces felony murder charge in fatal shooting case

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- 21-year-old Doneal Bell of Milwaukee faces one count of felony murder -- accused of causing the death of Mario Towns. 23-year-old Towns was shot to death near 3rd and Lapham on Saturday afternoon, March 1st.

Officers were dispatched to the scene around 2:00 p.m. on March 1st.

Towns was found lying on the ground in front of a duplex. He had a gunshot wound to the back of his head, and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Officers recovered over $3,000 from Towns' pants pocket.

Police interviewed a woman who lives in the upper unit of the duplex. She told officials she was asleep in her bedroom with her boyfriend when she was awakened by Towns stating "give them all the stuff" and "if you got the money and the weed, just give it to them," according to the criminal complaint.

The complaint says the woman started to scream -- and her boyfriend tried to calm her down. The woman says there was an unknown masked man in the room (later identified as Doneal Bell). She says he told her to "shut up or I will kill you," according to the complaint.

The complaint says the woman told officials Bell armed himself with a black claw hammer and threatened to hurt her. She says Bell located a wallet, found $2 and said "is this all you got?" The woman says Bell picked up a laptop and said "I don't want this," before tossing it back onto the desk.

The woman says Bell then walked out of the bedroom, and she heard someone yelling up the stairs "your partner just took off running," and she heard someone running down the stairs, according to the complaint.

Police interviewed the woman's boyfriend, who said he was in the bedroom when a man with a black handgun entered and said "give me the weed." The complaint says a second man entered the room (later identified as Bell). The woman's boyfriend told officials he told the first man "I ain't got no weed," and the man said "you all are selling weed up here."

The complaint says the first man then left the bedroom, but Bell stayed in the bedroom. The complaint says the first man came back into the bedroom with Towns.

The complaint says Towns had his hands in the air, and the man had a handgun pointed at Towns' head.

The complaint says the first man then exited the bedroom with Towns -- and that's when the woman woke up.

The complaint says police spoke with a woman who lives in the lower unit of the residence. That woman says she got a knock at the door. When she opened the door, she saw a man armed with a handgun -- pointing it at Towns.

The complaint indicates the man forced everyone in the lower residence into the living room, and made them get on their knees.

The complaint indicates the man said "where is the money, and where is the weed? The people upstairs said it was down here."

The man told Towns to "stop acting stupid," and Towns reportedly repeatedly told the man "they don't have anything, and we don't have anything," according to the complaint.

The complaint says this is when Towns jumped up and ran out the front door of the residence.

The complaint says the man followed, and nearly caught Towns at the doorway. The complaint says the man racked the slide on the handgun before exiting the front door onto the porch.

Police spoke with a witness, who told them he was sitting in his van when he saw the "shooting victim" running away from the front of the residence before falling face first onto the sidewalk. The complaint indicates the witness told officials he saw a man with his arm extended as if he were holding a handgun and pointing it at the shooting victim.

The complaint indicates three confidential sources told police Doneal Bell and another man were responsible for the homicide. The complaint says these sources told police Bell and another man knew Towns had money on his person -- due to his receipt of his tax return money -- and had attempted to rob him -- but instead shot him in the head.

Police interviewed Bell, who told them he had been contacted by a man about robbing Towns, who had money, and had just purchased a large amount of marijuana, according to the complaint.

Bell told police that man had the handgun used in the shooting, according to the complaint.

The complaint says Bell told police the man admitted to him that he had fired a shot at Towns when Towns fled.

If convicted of the felony murder charge against him, Bell could face a maximum of 55 years in prison.