Prince McCree homicide, Milwaukee man pleads guilty

The Milwaukee man accused in the death of 5-year-old Prince McCree, whose body was later found in a dumpster, pleaded guilty to the homicide charge on Monday, June 3.

In court, David Pietura, 27, changed his plea to guilty for the charge of 1st-Degree Intentional Homicide, as Party to a Crime.

Two other charges, Physical Abuse of a Child, Repeated Acts Causing Death, and Hiding a Corpse (both as Party to a Crime) were dismissed but read in for the purpose of sentencing.

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A sentencing hearing is scheduled for July 26. Pietura faces life imprisonment.

Another person, 16-year-old Erik Mendoza, was also charged with several felonies in the case.

Prince McCree; David Pietura

Mendoza was initially charged in juvenile court, but is now being charged as an adult.

Case details

McCree had been last seen near 54th and Meinecke and reported missing Oct. 25, 2023. His body was found around 9 a.m. the next morning near Hawley and Vliet – roughly a mile from where he was last seen.

Prosecutors said Pietura lived in the basement of the home where McCree and his family lived. On Oct. 25, prosecutors said McCree's mom let him go play video games in the basement. When she got up later, she could not find him and called the police.

While searching the home, a police K-9 smelled decomposition on some sweatshirts, prosecutors said. A detective also noticed blood. A criminal complaint said Pietura initially denied any involvement. 


Teen charged in Prince McCree's death headed to trial

The teen charged in the homicide of 5-year-old Prince McCree appeared in court at the Youth and Family Justice Center in Wauwatosa on Monday, March 4.

Prosecutors said Pietura told police he walked in on Erik Mendoza choking and beating McCree. Mendoza told police he was playing with McCree and got rough, according to the complaint, allegedly choking the 5-year-old and hitting him with a golf club multiple times. The criminal complaint details other gruesome abuse the boy endured before his death.

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When police interviewed Pietura, he said he was playing video games and then went on a walk with Mendoza. Pietura said they walked to a park and got back around 2 p.m. Prosecutors said GPS from Pietura's cellphone contradicts that information, and police arrested Pietura for obstruction at that point. 

Surveillance footage from the day McCree was last seen alive also shows Pietura and Mendoza walking in an alley near Cherry Street around 2 p.m. They are seen carrying a white garbage bag, according to court filings. The next day, around 7:45 a.m. in an interview with police, Pietura admitted where McCree's body was. An hour later, McCree's body was found. 

Prosecutors said both Pietura and Mendoza took part in the crime.

A new law named after Prince McCree will allow emergency alerts for missing children like Prince – those who do not meet the stricter criteria for an Amber Alert. It would go out for them if they cannot return home without help or if the child is younger than 10.