Felon claims no knowledge of Zimmermann killing - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Felon claims no knowledge of Zimmermann killing


MADISON (WKOW) -- A convicted burglar tells 27 News he is hiding no information on an accomplice, even though records show DNA from the man's burglary, matches DNA from the April 2, 2008 killing of UW-Madison student Brittany Zimmermann.

"My family was harassed, my friend was harassed. I feel like, at this point in time, enough is enough," 22-year old Darrielle Banks tells 27 News of police questioning about the connection between his 2008 burglary and Zimmermann's homicide.

Records show the DNA of convicted burglars Banks, Ryan Cook and Spencer Hutchins does not match the DNA at the murder crime scene. But records also show the DNA at the burglary scene at Madison's Blue Moon bar was lifted from a window not readily accessible to customers.

Zimmermann's mother, Jean Zimmermann, tells 27 News she believes Banks and the other men are concealing information on an accomplice - an accomplice who likely killed her daughter.

"The evidence doesn't lie. There was someone else's DNA there and it matched the person who killed Brittany," Zimmermann says.

"I'm confident they know who did it. It's beyond me that they would let this go on for five years."

Banks tells 27 News there is no accomplice, and maintains any one of the bar's stream of customers, staff members and others could have been responsible for the unidentified DNA.

Banks says police investigators showed him photos of people potentially involved in the Zimmermann killing to see if he could place them at the Blue Moon. He also says detectives offered family members and friends opportunity to claim the case's $40,000 reward, if they turned over information leading to the killer. But Banks says there were only three people involved in the July 2008 heist.

Banks served prison time for the bar burglary and other burglaries. 27 News interviewed him in the Dane County jail, where he's been an inmate since a November arrest for allegedly shoplifting clothing at a Madison mall, and punching and strangling a loss prevention officer.

Banks tells 27 News he's held nothing back from investigators, and does not want a fragile link to the notorious homicide to define him.

"By me being in this blue (jail) uniform, having felonies on my record, I'm already judged by a piece of paper. I've got a four year old child, I've got a life ahead of me, I'm not going to let this make me," Banks says.

Madison police spokesperson Joel DeSpain declines comment on the Zimmermann investigation, citing its continued, pending nature. DeSpain says the five-year old probe involves work by detectives, as leads and tips warrant.

In 2010, Banks and Hutchins told the Wisconsin State Journal they had no knowledge of an accomplice who may have been involved in the Zimmermann crime.

Authorities say Zimmermann was killed by a intruder, and her desperate, 911 call was mishandled by a 911 Communications staff member.

Banks tells 27 News he has sympathy for those mourning Brittany Zimmermann's violent death.

"I feel bad. I feel like it was a coward move. Plus, she was a female," Banks says.

Jean Zimmermann tells 27 News she will remain steadfast in waiting for Banks, or someone else, to provide new information on her daughter's killing.

Zimmermann has also supported the proposed expansion in DNA collection in arrest situations. She says Brittany Zimmermann's murderer is likely to commit a new crime, leading to DNA being submitted to a matchable database.

"There will be justice for her." 



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