By Tony Hanson

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A preliminary hearing has been delayed for two men charged with murdering a Philadelphia police officer earlier this month, as prosecutors prepare what they call “overwhelming” evidence.

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Prosecutors say the preliminary hearing for defendants Carlton Hipps and Ramone Willliams, charged with the March 5th murder of officer Robert Wilson III, will take at least several hours as prosecutors present video evidence, eyewitnesses, ballistics, crime scene, and autopsy results.

“Both individuals fired shots that killed Officer Wilson,” prosecutor Brendan O’Malley told KYW Newsradio this morning.   “That absolutely will be proven at the preliminary hearing.”

That hearing is now scheduled for May 20th.

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Philadelphia Police Officer Robert Wilson III. (credit: Philadelphia Police Department)

Philadelphia Police Officer Robert Wilson III. (credit: Philadelphia Police Department)


Defense attorney Michael Coard, who represents Hipps, concedes that a strong case could dictate plea negotiations.  But he says he’ll wait and see.

“I think a lot of people are assuming he is guilty.  Unfortunately, the law states that people are presumed innocent,” Coard said today.

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Williams’ attorney did not comment.  Both defendants are in custody.