Life in prison: Amani Smith sentenced in death of Dennis Huelse

Amani Smith

A Waukesha County judge sentenced Amani Smith on Monday, July 12 to life in prison following his conviction in the homicide of Dennis Huelse in September 2019. He will eligible for extended supervision after serving 42 years of initial confinement.

Smith, 22, was convicted on four counts on May 25, 2021. Prosecutors said Smith killed Huelse at his home in Waukesha. They say he tried to cover up the crime by setting Huelse's house on fire before stealing Huelse's 1969 Pontiac Firebird, which he tried to sell. 

1969 Pontiac Firebird missing from Waukesha residence, scene of fatal fire

1969 Pontiac Firebird missing from Waukesha residence, scene of fatal fire

Huelse's remains were found after the fire inside his home on University Drive near Pendleton Place in Waukesha on Sept. 26, 2019. 

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Fatal house fire in Waukesha

Fatal house fire in Waukesha

Waukesha police on Sept. 30, 2019, announced the Pontiac Firebird was found abandoned in an alley in Milwaukee -- recovered by police after a citizen contacted authorities. Prosecutors said it was found three blocks from Smith's home. Through cellphone records and Smith's Facebook page, prosecutors said investigators found messages that showed Smith was trying to sell the Pontiac Firebird, with messages such as, "Are you interested in old-school cars?"

Smith took off for a couple of days in early November 2019, prosecutors said. According to a witness, he wanted to start over. He allegedly messaged a friend, writing, "I got important (expletive) to handle so I won't go to jail for life."

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