Milwaukee fatal crash, man accused pleads not guilty

A Milwaukee man accused in a crash that left another man dead will head to trial after he pleaded not guilty Wednesday, July 19. 

Blessin Rhodes, 24, is charged with operating a car while revoked, and it's not his first run-in with police – or even his 20th.

The crash happened not far from 76th and Appleton on July 9. Prosecutors say Rhodes was driving and hit 70-year-old Billy Morgan's car.

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Morgan died July 15. He loved the Milwaukee Bucks, blues and jazz – and spoke to his brother nearly every day.

"It’s been a nightmare – to talk to your brother on Saturday night, then you get a call at five o’clock in the morning saying he’s been in an accident," said Ricky Morgan. "Brainstem was broken. Spine was severed. Ribs was broken. Everything in him was basically broken."

Billy Morgan

Ricky Morgan said he's broken after his brother's death and has one question about Rhodes: "Why wasn't he locked up in the first place?"

Rhodes has been cited nearly 30 times with traffic offenses. He also has an open felony case in Jefferson County for a chase with the Wisconsin State Patrol that reached 130 mph.

"What were you thinking, and why were you still driving, if you had all these charges in the first place," Ricky Morgan said.

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Meanwhile, back in court Wednesday, Rhodes was bound over for trial on the charge of driving while revoked. A woman paid Rhodes' $5,000 bond hours after his first court appearance.

Rhodes is due back in court next month. Ricky said funeral services for his brother will be held at Banks Funeral Home near Teutonia and Wright starting at noon Saturday, July 29.

Rhodes pleaded not guilty to operating while revoked, and it's unclear if or when prosecutors may upgrade the charge to account for Morgan's death.

FOX6 News reached out to the district attorney's office and Rhodes' attorney but did not immediately hear back.

Editor's note: Details regarding Billy Morgan's funeral services were set after this story originally aired on FOX6 News.