Hearing set for suspect in slaying of Ala. officer

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NHGF [Feed]

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Post by NHGF [Feed] » Tue May 21, 2019 3:26 pm

Associated Press AUBURN, Ala. — An Alabama National Guard member suspected of killing one Alabama police officer and wounding two others is due in court for an initial hearing Tuesday. Security was expected to be tight as Grady Wayne Wilkes, 29, appears in court in Lee County for an afternoon session. Wilkes was arrested Monday on charges of shooting three Auburn police officers who responded to a domestic disturbance call late Sunday. Veteran officer William Buechner was killed. Authorities said the other officers, Webb Sistrunk and Evan Elliott, are expected to recover. Investigators haven't said what prompted the shootings, only that officers came under fire when they arrived at a mobile home park where a domestic disturbance was reported. Wilkes is charged with capital murder and a prosecutor indicated he would seek the death penalty, but court records show he doesn't yet have a lawyer to speak on his behalf. A judge could appoint one during the hearing. Wilkes also is charged with attempted murder for allegedly shooting the two officers who were wounded and strangling someone during the domestic disturbance that resulted in officers being called. Wilkes has been a member of the Alabama National Guard since 2010 and was the leader of an infantry fire team, or combat unit, said Lt. Col. Tim Alexander, a Guard spokesman. A public alert sent out after the officers were shot described the suspect as wearing camouflage body armor and a helmet, but authorities haven't said whether any such gear might be linked to military service. Records don't reflect any overseas deployments by Wilkes, Alexander said, and additional details about his service record were not immediately available.

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