MILWAUKEE -- The parents of a homicide victim say the man responsible for their son's death was a childhood friend, who even spoke at a vigil for the deceased. A month ago, police say they found Robert Thomas with a smoking gun that was used in a string of crimes -- two homicides and a canicide.
Robert Thomas was in court Wednesday, April 18 for his preliminary hearing. A Milwaukee Police Department detective testified, and a motion to dismiss the case by the defense was argued and denied by the court. Probable cause was found for further proceedings, and Thomas pleaded not guilty.
A scheduling conference was set for May 3.
His nickname on the street is "Trouble."
"It's been sleepless nights. A lot of crying," said Pamela Thomas, Jordy Robinson's mother.
Thomas' son, Jordy Robinson, 25, was killed near 37th and Locust in March 2017.
"It's not easy looking at your grandchildren and they looking for answers. You're looking for them yourself," said Pamela Thomas.
Answer came in the form of a bombshell. Police told the family the man responsible for Robinson's death is Thomas, 32. He's not related to the family, but Robinson's family said he was like a brother to their son.
"He came to the vigil. He spoke to us -- never knowing someone my son trusted and called a friend would turn on him and do that to him," said Pamela Thomas.
According to a criminal complaint, Thomas was found near 13th and Concordia in March with a .40 caliber Smith & Wesson handgun. Police said the same gun was used to shoot a 7-month-old pit bull named "Bullet" in the head back in June of 2016 near 36th and Glendale. Six months later, police said the gun was used near 6th and Chambers, where a 27-year-old was shot once in the chest and died.
"That's what he's known as -- Trouble. He goes around -- that's what he is. Trouble," said Joe Robinson, Jordy's father.
Jordy Robinson suffered a gunshot wound to his head. Joe Robinson said Trouble followed him for weeks after the crime, not knowing his shadow was his son's killer.
"He walks up to me and says, 'hey what up? Have you heard about Jordy?' Right there, I could have been dead," said Joe Robinson.
Thomas is a convicted felon. In addition to a homicide charge, he also faces charges for the death of the dog.