Death sentence handed down to man convicted of murdering Youngst - News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Death sentence handed down to man convicted of murdering Youngstown woman

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio - A Youngstown man has been sentenced to death for fatally shooting a 20-year-old woman as she held a child in her arms.

Mahoning County Common Pleas Judge Lou D'Apolito followed the recommendation of the same jury that convicted 42-year-old Willie Wilks Jr., of murder and sentenced him to die by lethal injection.

As the judge read the verdict, he said that evidence showed that Wilks used an AK-47 to shoot Ororo Wilkins at close range as she held a four-year-old child in her arms outside a home on Park Avenue and shot 24-year-old Alexander Morales in the back as he tried to flee the scene in May of last year.

Judge D'Apolito found that Wilks plea for mercy because of the effect his execution would have on his young son was not enough of a  mitigating circumstance to prevent issuing a death sentence.

According to the office of  the Ohio Public Defender, when a defendant is sentenced to death at trial, the case is automatically appealed directly to the Ohio Supreme Court.

The appeal is limited to a review of any matters contained in the record made in the trial court. New evidence cannot be raised in this appeal.

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