Convicted Youngstown killer could receive death sentence on Frid - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

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Convicted Youngstown killer could receive death sentence on Friday

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio -
Sentencing is scheduled Friday morning for a man convicted of murdering a woman on Youngstown's north side.

After deliberating for  a short time on Monday, a jury in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court recommended that Willie Wilks Jr. be sentenced to death for fatally shooting Ororo Wilkins, 20, in the head while she was holding her 4-year-old niece last year. He was also convicted of wounding Alexander Morales, 24.

The decision from the jury is a recommendation.  Ultimately the final decision will be up to judge Lou D'Apolito on whether Wilks will receive life in prison or death for his crime when he hands down his decision on Friday morning.
Before deliberations began Monday afternoon, Wilks asked the judge and the jury for leniency during a nearly five minute address before the court.

Below is a transcript of Wilks comments in which he apologized for his own outburst when the guilty verdict was read:

I understand, and respect the light in which you all may be viewing me in at this point. So first and foremost i would like to appeal to the humanity of each person in this honorable courtroom to briefly view me as a member of the human race.

I extend from the bottom of my heart, my heartfelt condolences to the Wilkins family for the loss of a beautiful person. Ororo will be dearly missed and forever deeply loved by every person who had the pleasure of coming in contact with her including myself.

I want to apologize to the people who were present in this honorable courtroom, and who witnessed my very shocked, disruptive and disrespectful reactions to the verdicts as they were being read.

I especially want to apologize to Honorable judge D'Apolito who was reading the verdict as I was acting up. Sir, you have treated me with respect, dignity and consistent fairness since I first laid eyes on you. You are truly the personification of the title honorable. I apologize to you sir. And I meant no disrespect to you.

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, your collective verdicts resoundingly expressed your belief that i am guilty of these charges which were brought against myself by the state. However, and respectfully, I know, and God almighty knows, that I am in fact not guilty of any of these charges.

Respectfully. Having expressed that, all that counts at this point is what you all believe. Which is backed up by the full force of the law. And as a result of that, my very life hangs in the balance.

Therefore, I sincerely and humbly ask each of the jurors for your leniency. I ask for leniency with full knowledge that the charges I've been convicted of may require no leniency. But I don't ask for leniency selfishly.

I ask for leniency with respect of my three year old son who will be victimized beyond measure by my loss. Who absent his father, such as I was, will likely fall victim, as I did to circumstances which his environment has to offer.

With his father around, although incarcerated, as he comes of age his actions and decisions will be afforded the benefit of being guided and aided by his loving father who has swim through the rubble of the life he is just beginning to navigate through. My position will serve as an absolute example of where bad decisions and thoughtless living will end.

I ask for leniency with respect to allowing what's hidden in the darkness to come to the light. Because the true perpetrator of these crimes among them.

In closing, I thank you all attending me brief respect of viewing me as a human being for the purpose of giving a statement. I commit my soul to the mercy of God through each of you twelve jurors in the hopes that you will thoughtfully and reflectively consider extending leniency upon my downtrodden soul with a open mind, even in the midst of what you believe I have done.

May God bless each and every person in this honorable courtroom.

After hearing the death penalty recommendation, the victim's family hugged and cried. Wilks showed no emotion.

"I believe to this day and just like he said in that court- he's not guilty and I believe him 100%. I believe what he say he's not guilty and I believe it," said Tracy Wilks, the defendant's brother.
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