A substitute judge ordered that a nearly three-year-old prison homicide case be scheduled for trial.
Dexter Ewing, 44, of Milwaukee is charged with first-degree intentional homicide for killing his cellmate, Jerome Scott, in Columbia Correctional Institution on Feb. 12, 2015.
In a competency hearing Wednesday, Judge James Miller noted that an evaluation had been completed in June, finding Ewing capable of telling right from wrong, with no new orders for psychological evaluation.
Ewing did not appear for the hearing, as Miller looked at the status of the case with defense attorney Ronald Benavides and Assistant District Attorney Troy Cross.
At the time of the incident, Ewing was serving a sentence of life without parole for the April 2008 murder of a Milwaukee woman.
While in prison, Ewing entered a guilty plea to the armed robbery and murder of a wheelchair-bound Milwaukee man in 2006.
On the afternoon of Feb. 12, 2015, according to reports by Columbia County Sheriff’s Office detectives, a CCI correctional officer was helping move inmates from their cells to their recreation time, when Ewing told her that his cellmate was lying on the floor and that there was blood everywhere.
Ewing later told detectives that he had put a sharpened toothbrush “shank” to Scott’s throat, brought him from his bed to the floor, tied Scott’s hands behind his back with a bed sheet and then strangled him with an electrical cord.
Scott, who was deaf but could read lips, had been moved into Ewing’s cell about two weeks earlier. The pair argued during their time together and at one point, according to Ewing, Scott threatened him with a pen, saying he wasn’t afraid of him.
“I will sleep good tonight. He deserved to die,” Ewing said to detectives. “If I would have done that to him, I would deserve to die. If you can’t play in the streets, stay away.”
After an argument about Ewing dangling his legs over the top bunk and Scott pulling out the pen, Ewing told officers, that was when he began hearing voices saying, “Kill him, kill him; it’s either him or you.”
“I’m not using my mental illness because without a mental illness, I still would have killed him,” Ewing told detectives, saying that his illness only pushed him to do it faster. He went on to say that 55 percent of the people in the world need to be shot and killed, placing himself in the majority. “I am a monster as you can see.”
In the two weeks leading up to Scott’s death, Ewing said, he had been trying to contact the prison psychologist, saying, “Don’t get me wrong, 95 percent of this was me, but 5 percent of this she should have talked with me.”
After Scott was killed, Ewing was moved to Waupun Correctional Institution where he was held in solitary confinement. In May 2016, he was moved to the “supermax” facility in Boscobel.
In court on Wednesday, Miller — filling in for the Branch 3 judicial seat that has been vacant since Judge Alan White’s September retirement — ordered a four-day trial be scheduled.