Kia Boys YouTube documentary; Markell Hughes jury trial delayed
MILWAUKEE - A jury trial was initially scheduled to begin Monday, March 13 for Markell Hughes – identified by authorities as one of the individuals featured in a YouTube video regarding a group of car thieves that engage in reckless driving. However, during Monday's hearing the defense requested a Miranda Motion – and the court granted that request. The court ordered the case be adjourned for a motion hearing on April 13. The jury trial was rescheduled for May 8.
Hughes was charged with the following criminal counts:
- Drive or operate a vehicle without owner’s consent
- First-degree recklessly endangering safety
- Obstructing an officer
- Felony bail jumping
According to the criminal complaint, on the morning of May 17, 2022 an officer responded to the Hawthorn Suites in Oak Creek in response to a call about a stolen vehicle. The officer spoke with the person who reported the crime. That person had rented a red 2021 Hyundai Elantra with a key-start ignition and Pennsylvania license plate. The person told the officer the car had been stolen "at some point between 6:30 p.m. the night of May 16, 2022, and the morning of May 17, 2022," the complaint says. There was broken glass where the car had been parked.
Later on May 17, another person reported a stolen 2021 Kia Seltos stolen from the area of 115th and Burleigh in Wauwatosa.
The complaint indicates on May 31, a video was uploaded to YouTube titled, "Kia Boys Documentary (A Story of Teenage Car Theft)." In that video, a red Hyundai Elantra is seen being driven recklessly near 36th and Courtland Avenue. The license plate on the Hyundai matched that of the stolen car in Oak Creek.
Kia Boys YouTube documentary
Still on May 17, police received a call from an unknown caller reporting a "Hyundai driving recklessly at high rates of speed." The complaint says the called informed police the subjects with the car were changing a tire behind the Walgreens near 68th and Hampton.
Roughly six minutes later, police received a call about a crash involving a school bus and a Kia Seltos. Video of the crash shows a man arrive at the scene in a red Hyundai Elantra "wearing a black hooded sweatshirt with the word 'Glock' written on it in white lettering. This sweatshirt matches the depiction of the sweatshirt of the front passenger in the YouTube video," the complaint says. Again, the Hyundai in this video had the same Pennsylvania license plate.
The Kia Seltos was processed by law enforcement -- and several fingerprints were recovered. One of those matched "the left thumb of the defendant, Markell S. Hughes," the complaint says.
The defendant was arrested on May 30 -- for two offenses of take and drive vehicle without owner's consent and operate vehicle without owner's consent-passenger.
On June 8, a detective reviewed jail calls placed by the defendant on June 6. The complaint says in those calls, "the defendant states 'I heard my video went viral too. I heard my (expletive) hit 50K in one day.'" Officials said the video had close to 500,000 views after two weeks.
On June 10, Hughes was interviewed by detectives. Hughes "admitted to being the driver of the car" in the 36th and Courtland incident, saying "he was going too fast." Hughes said "he does not steal cars, but he agreed with (the detective) when the detective said, 'You just drive them.'"
The complaint adds that the defendant's fingerprints have been identified in "six other stolen cars.
If convicted, Hughes could face nearly 23 years in prison – and be fined up to $55,000.
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A news release says the Milwaukee Police Department appreciates all the information we have received from
the community regarding this investigation. We are proud of all the hard work of our members that have been diligently working on identifying the individuals involved in criminal activity in the video.
Officials continue to ask the community to come forward and provide any information regarding the individuals involved in criminal activity or reckless behavior. Anyone with any information is asked to contact Milwaukee police at 414-935-7360, or to remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers at 414-224-TIPS or P3 Tips App.