Milwaukee Man Facing Life Imprisonment for Witness Retaliation
United States Attorney James L. Santelle announced that today a federal grand jury indicted Kyle T. Collins, age 35, of Milwaukee, on one count of Retaliation Against a Federal Witness. If convicted of the charge, Collins faces a maximum penalty of life in prison without parole.
The charge relates to allegations that on June 14, 2013, Collins physically assaulted and threatened to kill a female who had testified earlier this year in the federal sex-trafficking trial of Tyrone McMillian. The female witness had been included in McMillian’s indictment as one of four minors that McMillian had trafficked in the sex trade between 2006 and 2009. The jury hearing that case found McMillian guilty of seven sex-trafficking counts. McMillian faces life in prison on four of those counts.
In documents previously filed publicly in connection with the allegations against Collins, the federal witness and two other individuals described to law enforcement officers Collins’ attack on the witness. According to those documents, in the early morning hours of June 14, 2013, Collins confronted the federal witness in a nightclub and told her that he knew she had testified against McMillian. A short while later, the witness left the nightclub and Collins again confronted her. Collins physically assaulted the witness outside of the nightclub and dragged her by her hair towards a waiting car where he was heard to say, “I’m going to kill this snitch.” Although Collins had dragged her halfway into the car, the witness was able to break free and run away. Collins was arrested a short while later.
In announcing the indictment, United States Attorney Santelle commented: “Attacks of any type on witnesses strike at the very heart of our criminal justice system, and witness intimidation and witness retaliation threaten the mission of all of us who work to keep our community safe and secure. That the alleged victim in this case is a young woman who, as a minor, was previously victimized by a sex trafficker makes this conduct all the more egregious and troubling. Today’s charge makes clear once again that the weight of the federal criminal justice system will be brought to bear on those who would in any manner, through any means attempt to harm or otherwise influence individuals who have the courage and the commitment to step forward and provide information about the criminal activities of others.”
The indictment was the result of an investigation by the Milwaukee Police Department. The case has been assigned to Assistant United States Attorney Joseph R. Wall.
The public is cautioned that an indictment is merely the formal method of charging an individual and does not constitute evidence of guilt. An individual is presumed innocent until such time, if ever, that the government establishes his or her guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.