Graphic testimony as Patrick Fowler, accused of killing mother, daughter appeared in court

Patrick Fowler

MILWAUKEE -- The man accused of killing a woman and her daughter inside their home near 68th and Stevenson in Milwaukee was in court on Thursday, April 21st for his preliminary hearing.

32-year-old Patrick Fowler faces two life sentences if he's convicted of killing the two.

In court on Thursday, during Fowler's preliminary hearing, there was graphic testimony from a Milwaukee police detective.

Probable cause was found for Fowler to stand trial in this case.

The bodies of 28-year-old Jessica Ellenberger and her daughter, four-year-old Madyson Marshel were discovered inside their 68th Street home back on March 19th.

Jessica Ellenberger and Madyson Marshel

Patrick Fowler

According to investigators, Fowler admits he and Ellenberger were arguing, and that Fowler “felt as if he was being disrespected."

At some point, Fowler grabbed Ellenberger by the hair and “asked her to just talk with him.” When she demanded Fowler back off, Fowler told police “the knife slid across her chest.” She was stabbed 26 times and her throat was slit.

"He continued to stab her and then went back into the kitchen and grabbed more knives and stabbed her some more as Madyson Marshel was screaming 'mommy,'" Milwaukee Police Department Detective James Campbell testified.

He then proceeded to stab Madyson twice, according to the complaint.

Mother, daughter killed in fire near 68th and Stevenson

"He said that he prayed awhile, and then used coloring books to set their bodies on fire," Campbell testified.

The complaint indicates Fowler then walked out of the front door, taking Easter candy from the home. The bodies of Jessica Ellenberger and Madyson Marshel were later found in a bedroom in the home.

Police say Fowler did not feel bad about any of the decisions he made.

Konrad Ellenberger

"My granddaughter was always afraid of monsters. Unfortunately, she had to meet one. I can't forgive him. Maybe someday God can forgive him -- but I'll never forgive him," Konrad Ellenberger, Jessica Ellenberger's father said following Fowler's preliminary hearing.

Chris Marshel

"It's a feeling that I wouldn't want to wish upon nobody, you know, to have to hear all this stuff. I mean, it was unbearable," Chris Marshel, Madyson Marshel's father said of the graphic testimony during the hearing.

Jessica Ellenberger and Madyson Marshel

Shortly after charges were filed in this case, FOX6 News spoke with the grandmother of Fowler's two children. She said Fowler came to her daughter's home after the murders and forced her daughter to help him.

"He threatened her. If she didn't help him, there was going to be bodily harm to perhaps herself and her children," said the grandmother to Fowler's children.

She said her daughter helped dispose of Fowler's clothes against her will.

"There were threats made, yes," said the grandmother to Fowler's children.

The mother of Fowler's two children was in jail for her alleged role.

"She does have heart problems. She does have seizures. She hasn't slept since March 19th. She hasn't eaten. They need to take that into consideration," said the grandmother to Fowler's children. "She did what she had to do at that time under severe mental distress and threat of her safety, her security, and her life and her children's."

Jessica Ellenberger and Madyson Marshel

According to the criminal complaint, after the murders, Fowler bought a one-way ticket to Texas and got on a Greyhound bus. He was arrested as the bus made a stop in Arkansas.

Fowler will next be in court on May 11th for his arraignment.

Fowler made his initial appearance in court in this case April 11th. Cash bond was set at $1 million.

There is a separate open case out of Milwaukee County filed against Fowler on March 22nd -- four days before the first degree intentional homicide charges were filed for the deaths of Ellenberger and Marshel.

Fowler is charged with sex registry violation, and has pleaded not guilty.