Philadelphia, PA – The notorious cop-hating district attorney for Philadelphia has offered a plea deal that would take the death penalty off the table to two men who murdered a police officer, and fallen hero’s family is outraged.
District Attorney Larry Krasner’s office said that it would have no comment until after the hearing on Monday for the two suspects accused of murdering Philadelphia Police Sergeant Robert Wilson III, WPVI reported.
But law enforcement sources told WCAU that cop killers Carlton Hipps and Ramone Williams planned to accept life sentences, plus 50 to 100 consecutive years in prison, in exchange for pleading guilty to Sgt. Wilson’s murder.
Nobody from the district attorney’s office contacted the family of Sgt. Wilson before they gave his killers a deal that would let them avoid the death penalty.
During his campaign for district attorney, Krasner shared his personal objections to capital punishment and promised he would never seek the death penalty, according to WCAU.
The families of murder victims expressed concern after he was elected that they would never see justice served in their loved ones’ cases.
Although there is a governor-imposed moratorium on the death penalty in Pennsylvania, the state can still seek it, WCAU reported.
In March, Krasner told WCAU that the case against Sgt. Wilson’s murderers remained a capital one, and said he would follow the decision of a committee that would determine if the death penalty was appropriate in the slain officer’s case.
Sgt. Wilson, an eight-year veteran of the Philadelphia Police Department, was murdered by Hipps and Williams during a snowstorm on March 5, 2015, when he stopped into a GameStop store to buy a video game for his son as a reward for making good grades, CNN reported.
Police said Sgt. Wilson was standing at the counter in uniform when Hipps and Williams, who are brothers, entered the store wielding guns, according to CNN. There were five customers and two employees in the store at the time.
Sgt. Wilson announced himself, and then exchanged gunfire with the robbers. Police said the store’s surveillance footage showed a heroic officer who diverted gunfire away from the innocent civilians in the store, WCAU reported.
More than 50 gunshots were exchanged and the sergeant was shot three times by Hipps and Williams.
"Officer Wilson was shot multiple times in the body and once in the head. That is the shot that ultimately killed him," Philadelphia Police Captain James Clark told CNN at the time.
Hipps and Williams got in a second shootout with Sgt. Wilson’s partner as they left the store, and Hipps was wounded, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page.
Williams ran back in the store and tried to pretend he was a customer when officers arrived to arrest him, according to CNN. He later confessed.
Both brothers were arrested and charged with Sgt. Wilson’s murder, and the attempted murder of his partner.
Shaki'ra Wilson-Burroughs, the slain sergeant’s sister, said she was told that the committee met for two hours this week to discuss what sentence would be appropriate for her brother’s killers; however, the family was not told what decision had ultimately been made.
She told WCAU that Sgt. Wilson’s family had been shut out of the prosecutorial process, and that “no one even got a statement from us to even present."
"Everything is hush-hush. It feels as though the district attorney's hand is covering their mouth," Wilson-Burroughs said.
A few months ago, Sgt. Wilson’s sister and his grandmother, Connie Wilson, shared their frustrations about the lack of movement in his murder case after three years without a trial, WCAU reported.
Both women called for the avowed anti-police district attorney to step aside in the cop killers’ cases.
"Do your job," was the message Wilson-Burroughs told WCAU she wanted to deliver to Krasner after she got the news about her brother’s murderers’ plea agreements.
"How about stand up as a man, pass off [the case] and say what you cannot do since you can't hold this case and be fair,” Wilson-Burroughs challenged the anti-cop district attorney.