UPDATE: Two men charged with murder after robbing, suffocating man in Greendale

UPDATE: Two men charged with murder after robbing, suffocating man in Greendale

Updated: 11:30 a.m on November 1, 2017

GREENDALE, Wis. (CBS 58) -- One of the two suspects who prosecutors say brutally murdered an elderly man over his wallet faced a judge Tuesday morning. 

Calvin Fleener, 42, was kicked out of court by the judge who though Fleener was not paying attention and being disrespectful. 

Police say on October 21, Fleener and 22-year-old James Johansen knocked on the door of the victim, 76-year-old Kenneth Latus and forced their way inside his Greendale home. 

Authorities say the men confessed, describing how they beat Latus, tied him up with a phone cord, and suffocated him witha pillow before stealing $160 from his wallet. 

Bail was set at $350,000. 

CBS 58 reached out to Latus' family who released photos and the following statement:

"Just know that my father was the nicest, kindest person you could ever meet. He was a wonderful husband, father and friend.”

They say Latus had just been diagnosed with terminal lung cancer and family had started home hospice the Friday before the crime happened. His wife died earlier this year. A funeral is being planned for next Wednesday. 


Posted: 3:40 p.m. on October 31, 2017

GREENDALE, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Two men are now facing charges of first-degree reckless homicide, robbery with use of force, burglary (battery to a person), and felony murder. 

According to the criminal complaint, Calvin Fleener and James Johansen are responsible for the robbery and homicide of Kenneth Latus that occurred on October 21 in Greendale.

A woman called 911 to report that a man was tied up inside of a home. Upon crews arrival, they were informed that the man was dead.

Police entered the home and observed the victim, later identified as Kenneth Latus, lying on the floor in the spare bedroom. His hands and feet were tied behind his back by a cord from a missing cordless telephone set.

The victim's death was ruled homicide by asphyxiation due to suffocation.

Police checked the residence and located Mr. Latus' black leather wallet with no money inside. 

Officers made contact with the son of the victim who told police that he spoke to his father on October 9. The victim's son told police that his father stated that a package had arrived with someone else's name on it. On October 20, a woman and a man later identified as Fleener had come to the victim's house looking for the letter. The victim's son said he spoke to his father the morning of the homicide but couldn't get a hold of him later in the afternoon which was unusual. He drove to his father's house with his wife and that's when they found the victim deceased under some blankets in a spare room.

Security video of the residential complex in which Kenneth Latus' residence was located showed the man and woman walking to Latus' residence to pick up the letter. The next day, the security video shows two men, later identified as the suspects Fleener and Johansen, walking the same path to Latus' residence. Roughly 45 minutes later, the two suspects are again seen walking away from the residence in a much faster manner.

Additional security video was obtained from a Milwaukee County Transit bus. The video shows the two suspects enter the bus. Fleener can be heard making a loud sarcastic comment similar to "oh my hand!" This statement appeared to be significant as the victim appeared to have been physically beaten.

The bus video also shows Fleener analyzing the contents of a blue drawstring bag. He is then shown turning to Johansen, saying "we did good bro!" and giving him a high five. 

During the course of the investigation, officers were able to recover some of the victim's possessions from the Root River.

An interview with Johansen was conducted. Johansen told police that it was Fleener's idea because he had been to the victim's house the day before. Johansen said that he didn't know what they were going to do until they arrived at the residence. Johansen told police that Fleener knocked on the door and asked the victim if he could use the bathroom. When the victim said no, Fleener pushed him down and took his wallet. Johansen said that Fleener then suffocated him and said "I got to make sure he does not call the cops." Johansen also said the victim was punched in the face 4 to 5 times.

Fleener told police that Johansen approached him and asked if he knew a place to make some money. Fleener said they then took a bus to Greendale to rob the victim. Fleener admitted to punching and suffocating the victim.  Fleener stated that he gave all the money from the robbery to Johansen and threw the phones they took in a river while walking to the bus. 

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