Suspect in Youngstown homicide could face death penalty - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

Suspect in Youngstown homicide could face death penalty

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MAHONING COUNTY - Aggravated murder with a death penalty specification is the first part of a nine count indictment handed up against 41-year-old Willie Gene Wilks, Junior.

U.S. marshals arrested Wilks Wednesday for Tuesday's murder of 20-year old Ororo Wilkins.

She was shot to death at a Park Avenue home while holding a baby in her arms.

Mahoning County Prosecutor Paul Gains says it all started earlier in the day with an argument between Ororo's brother William and Wilks at a home on Elm Street where Wilks had been living with their mother.

Gains says the argument was apparently over finances.

Two hours later, Mr. Wilks appears at Mr. Wilkins' house and produced an assault rifle and fired at least three rounds; one which was located in the vicinity of where Mr. Wilkins was on the second floor and two other rounds that were to the individuals on the front porch, which were Ororo Wilkins and Alexander Morales.

The 24-year old Morales was wounded in the shooting.

Gains credits the Youngstown Police Department, city prosecutor's office and coroner's office for providing the sufficient evidence needed to send the case directly to the grand jury for an indictment less than 48 hours after the crime occurred.

"And I also want to commend the witnesses. The regular citizens who were there who identified the shooter to police and who cooperated in giving their statements. Without those people, we can't do anything," said Gains.

In 1990, Wilks was incarcerated for involuntary manslaughter.

This time, he is charged with murder, attempted murder and felonious assault.

All with firearms specifications.

"Losing your temper and using a firearm. It's just a ridiculous waste of life; not only for the victim but also the defendant. If he is convicted, he's wasted his life," he said. 

Wilks will be arraigned on Tuesday.

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