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Youngstown man found guilty of murdering woman could face death penalty

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio - The jury that convicted a Youngstown man of murdering a woman will now help decide if he'll be sent to Ohio's death row.

42-year-old Willie Wilks, Jr. reacted with anger on Tuesday morning when a jury in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court found him guilty on all counts for the shooting death of 20-year-old Ororo Wilkins and wounding of 24-year-old Alexander Morales as they stood on the porch of a home on Park Avenue in Youngstown last May.

Wilkins was holding a baby in her arms when she was gunned down.

After deliberating a short time Monday night and part of Tuesday morning, the jury found Wilks guilty of murder, felonious assault and weapons violations.

Upon hearing the guilty verdict on the murder charge, Wilks slammed his hands on a courtroom table and claimed that he did not commit the crime.

Wilks could still be heard shouting after he left the court. Authorities say he kicked a hole in a hallway wall as he was being led away.

The same jury is expected to be back in court next week to begin the mitigation phase of the trial.

Attorneys will present arguments that could determine if the jury will recommend that the judge sentence Wilks to be executed for the crimes, or sentenced to life in prison.

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