53rd and Villard homicide, Milwaukee man gets 30 years in prison

Prarie Kelly

A Milwaukee man has been sentenced to 30 years in prison for a 2022 fatal shooting on the city's north side.

Prarie Kelly, 24. was found guilty at trial in May of first-degree reckless homicide and possession of a firearm by a felon. He was also sentenced to 10 years of extended supervision.

According to a criminal complaint, Milwaukee's ShotSpotter system detected gunfire near 53rd and Villard on the morning of Sept. 25, 2022 When officers arrived, they found a man suffering from a gunshot wound. That man died of his injuries at a hospital.

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A detective found three 9mm Underwood brand bullet casings at the scene, the complaint said.

Investigators later recovered video that showed a gray SUV was driving west on Villard Avenue, then turned southbound on 53rd Street – and shows the victim's car driving northbound on 53rd Street, approaching the median. The complaint said the "suspect auto" approached the victim's car. The driver's door on the SUV opened, per the complaint, and someone inside shot into the driver's side of the victim's car before the SUV then fled the scene.

Homicide near 53rd and Villard, Milwaukee

Investigators reviewed the video and noted "the suspect vehicle had a loud exhaust system, as well as a unique paper front registration system and damage to the passenger side rear bumper and rear passenger quarter panel," the complaint said. Detectives reported locating video of a matching vehicle from a traffic stop on Sept. 7.

The complaint said officers found the SUV and towed it to a secure location. Detectives found a silver 9mm Underwood brand cartridge in the SUV's center console. Police also found two, tan handgun grips that were in the door pocket of the SUV.

Homicide near 53rd and Villard, Milwaukee

A detective interviewed Kelly on Oct. 5, 2022. In that interview, per the complaint, Kelly admitted that he owns the SUV that had been towed, which he stated was damaged in an accident. When confronted with pictures of the suspect vehicle from surveillance video, Kelly "claimed it could not be his car because he got his windows tinted about a month prior." Kelly also stated the exhaust on the SUV was louder than normal because the vehicle was involved in an accident. Kelly also claimed he did not have a firearm.

The complaint said a different detective later spoke with a person who said Kelly "admitted to him that he had been involved in a near accident at 53rd and Villard, and that after he confronted the other driver, he believed the other driver was 'reaching down' so he shot him and drove away." This person also told police Kelly was "armed with a tan Glock 19X."