Milwaukee hit-and-run; brothers killed, man pleads not guilty

Ausberto and Michael Gutierrez Ponce; Luis Perez Garcia

The man accused in a Milwaukee hit-and-run that killed two brothers pleaded not guilty and was bound over for trial on Tuesday, May 21.

Luis Perez Garcia, 33, is charged with four felonies in the case. The crash left Ausberto and Michael Gutierrez Ponce dead on May 5.

Case details

It happened near 19th and Lincoln around 2:45 a.m. that morning. A witness told police that she gave her neighbor, Ausberto, a ride home that night and double-parked in the bike lane, so he could get out, according to a criminal complaint. She said Ausberto had already gotten out, and Michael met them out on the street to talk. That's when a speeding vehicle hit her SUV and the brothers, she said, and drove off.

SIGN UP TODAY: Get daily headlines, breaking news emails from FOX6 News

Police found debris from the striking vehicle at the scene, which included pieces of plastic with "distinctive markings" on them, per the complaint. That debris was determined to be from a 2013-17 Chevrolet Traverse.

Surveillance video did not show the impact, but did show what appeared to be a 2013-2017 Chevrolet Traverse just west of the scene at the time. The complaint states no other vehicles drove past during that time frame leading up to and after the crash. The same SUV was later seen eastbound on Lincoln Avenue with damage to its passengers' side headlights – "consistent with having struck another object."


Milwaukee hit-and-run; brothers killed, family faces funeral hurdle

After two brothers were killed in a Milwaukee hit-and-run, their family now faces a new challenge: getting their bodies back to Nicaragua for a funeral.

Later that day, police found a Chevrolet Traverse with heavy damage to its front passenger side near 5th and Arthur – a little more than a mile from the crash scene. Neighbors told police who the SUV belonged to, the complaint states, and an officer went to knock on that door. Perez Garcia answered and was taken into custody.

The next day, detectives interviewed Perez-Garcia. Per the complaint, he admitted to causing the crash and leaving the scene. He said he had left a bar after he drank eight beers, but he "was not drunk" – rather, "buzzed." He also admitted he does not have a driver's license, and a review of Wisconsin Department of Transportation records found he had never been issued one.

Perez Garcia is charged with two counts of hit-and-run resulting in death and two counts of knowingly operating a motor vehicle without a valid license causing death. If convicted of all charges, he could face more than 70 years in prison.