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Alleged serial killer Walter Ellis goes on trial next May for seven murders

Alleged Milwaukee serial killer Walter Ellis is scheduled to go on trial May 3, for the brutal killings of seven female prostitutes over 21 years.

The trial was ordered yesterday, after a judge heard three hours of testimony and decided there was enough evidence to try Ellis, 49.

The judge then entered innocent pleas to all seven of Ellis's murder and homicide charges.

Relatives of the victims winced and cried as 18 present and former Milwaukee police officers testified about the crimes.

Medical examiner Christopher Happy said each of the seven victims was strangled.

Prosecutor Mark Williams said it was no coincidence that Ellis's DNA was found on all seven victims and they all died virtually the same way.

Pre-trial requests will be heard in February.

For now, Ellis cannot have contact with his girlfriend Tressie Johnson, who was taken into custody along with Ellis at a motel in Franklin on Sept. 5. Johnson was released a few days later.