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Janet Protasiewicz Gave Weak Sentence to Man Accused of Murdering Milwaukee Common Council President’s Niece

Elijah Combs

Update – we were just told by sources that Elijah Combs led Milwaukee police on a chase the evening of Feb. 28, crashed, and shot himself.

In addition, Elijah Combs was freed and given a “summons” on Feb. 9 in two criminal cases in Milwaukee County, leaving him on the streets when Aliyah Perez was killed. That’s a piece of paper that merely asked him to show up for his next court date rather than being booked in jail.

Left-wing Wisconsin Supreme Court candidate Janet Protasiewicz gave a slap on the wrist in a previous felony domestic violence case to Elijah Combs, the man accused of murdering Aliyah Perez, the niece of Milwaukee Common Council president Jose Perez, Wisconsin Right Now has learned.

Janet Protasiewicz could have sent Combs to prison for 15.5 years if he was convicted on the original charges. That means he would have been off the streets on the day of the murder. Instead, she allowed three serious felony charges to be dismissed and stayed all prison time in the 2016 case, meaning he would not have to serve the time unless he messed up again. That’s even though he jumped bail.

Read the horrific details from the criminal complaint here.

Jose Perez, the victim’s uncle, is the president of the Milwaukee Common Council. According to the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner’s office, Aliyah Perez, 26, was murdered on the evening of Feb. 26, 2023, in the 5300 block of South 26th Street. The Milwaukee police homicide unit is handling the case.

Common Council President José G. Pérez said in a statement: “My family has experienced an immense tragedy within the past 24 hours that has left us saddened beyond words. I ask the news media and the public to please allow me and my family members space and privacy at this time.”

Protasiewicz, a Milwaukee judge running against former Justice Dan Kelly, is already under fire for a string of weak sentences that have put dangerous offenders back on the streets with little accountability. The state Republican Party has even created a website to highlight the cases called “No Jail Janet.”

Combs appeared before Protasiewicz on a slew of very serious domestic violence-related and bail jumping charges in 2016. She could have sent him a message; instead she gave him a slap on the wrist, letting him go with only 6 months in the House of Correction, probation, and stayed prison.

If Protasiewicz had not agreed to the plea bargain that dismissed multiple felony charges against Combs, and had sentenced Combs to the maximum penalty for those, he would have been behind bars today. Although plea bargains are negotiated by prosecutors, judges have the power to reject them under Wisconsin law. The plea agreement reduced his exposure from more than 25 years to 9 years overall – with the confinement time portion (the portion that could be spent behind bars rather than on extended supervision) reduced from 15.5 years to 4.5 years.

Protasiewicz agreed to dismiss but read-in at sentencing three felony charges – strangulation and suffocation, false imprisonment, and intimidate victim/threaten force.

She convicted Combs of felony substantial battery – intend bodily harm.

In the second case, Combs was sentenced by Protasiewicz on felony bail jumping. In other words, he had already screwed up while out on bail in the first case.

According to court records, she stayed all prison and jail time in that case, meaning he wouldn’t have to serve a day of it unless he messed up again. Instead, she placed him on probation.

Combs was accused of being Perez’s killer by multiple family members of the victim on Facebook. A law enforcement source confirmed to Wisconsin Right Now that he is the suspect accused in the homicide case.

The Milwaukee Court System continued to send messages to Combs that he would not be held accountable.

On Feb. 9, 2023, Combs was charged with third-offense OWI in Milwaukee County. He was mailed a summons. There is no evidence bail was even set or that he was booked in jail.

In a separate case, he was charged with felony fleeing an officer in Milwaukee County. He was given $2,500 bail in that case and then given a summons and told to show up for his next court date.

Both of those cases are pending; Protasiewicz did not handle those cases because they haven’t even made it before a judge yet.

When we interviewed Milwaukee County DA John Chisholm in 2021, he revealed that the court system has been sending thousands of offenders such “summons” to show up in court, instead of booking them into jail. We’ve got that on audio. That means they are handed a piece of paper and just told to show up for court.

Chisholm revealed in that interview that officials were using the previously unreported process – which he blamed on COVID – to hand many arrested suspects the “summons” (a notice) to come to court for their first appearance, rather than book them into the jail and requiring them to bail them out at all. That means that many offenders were left on the streets after their arrests, and it was left to them to do the right thing and show up for their first court appearance.

Asked if his own office has backlogs, Chisholm said, “Oh yeah. A huge number of cases that are out in summons…so many of them are in summons.”

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