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Old 12-03-2019, 04:28 AM
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Default Waukesha, WI WM, 63 stabbed to death for 69 Pontiac Firebird by negro who then tried to burn house


A Milwaukee arson suspect killed a man, then tried to burn down his Waukesha home, complaint says

Updated 9:26 a.m. CT Dec. 2, 2019

A 20-year-old Milwaukee man fatally stabbed a Waukesha resident and tried to destroy any evidence of the killing by attempting to burn the victim's house down
, according to a criminal complaint.

Amani Swanel Tobias Smith was charged Wednesday in Waukesha County Circuit Court with first-degree intentional homicide, arson, mutilating a corpse and operating a motor vehicle without the owner's consent.

If convicted on the homicide charge, Smith faces a mandatory life sentence.

Waukesha Police, in collaboration with the Milwaukee Police Department and U.S. Marshals Service, arrested Smith on Nov. 25, almost two months after investigators found 63-year-old Dennis Huelse dead in his Waukesha home.

Smith made his initial court appearance the same day he was charged. His bail was set at $500,000. His next court date is Monday, Dec. 2.

According to the criminal complaint:

The morning of Sept. 26, the Waukesha Fire and Police Departments responded to multiple calls of flames coming out of a bedroom at Huelse’s residence on the 600 block of South University Drive. When firefighters entered the home, they found Huelse dead, with a knife in his neck.

Huelse’s family reported that an iMac desktop computer and Huelse’s 1969 Pontiac Firebird had gone missing during the blaze.

Firefighters determined the fire started in the southeast bedroom, where they found Huelse's body. An autopsy confirmed that Huelse died before the fire started.

Investigators labeled the death a homicide.

After looking through surveillance footage, Waukesha detectives saw Huelse's Firebird traveling from I-94 into Milwaukee County. The last surveillance video showed the vehicle just three blocks from Smith’s residence in Milwaukee. It was later recovered in an alleyway about a third of a mile from Smith's home.

Soon after, one of Huelse's neighbors reported seeing a “suspicious vehicle” – a blue Toyota Avalon – parked near their home, just one block from Huelse’s residence, around the time of the fire.

Investigators determined the car belong to Smith, and, while executing a search warrant at Smith's home, found a gas can with Huelse's blood on it and a unique blanket Huelse had stored in his car.

Cell phones records show that Smith texted an associate about a news report on the fire, saying, “Everything tht [sic] was in tht [sic] room is burned down, including his phone.”

Police also discovered messages indicating Smith discussed selling the car to a close family friend and had pictures of it on his phone.


Dennis M. Huelse
May 24, 1956 - September 26, 2019

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