PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The family of fallen Philadelphia police officer Robert Wilson III says they are concerned and frustrated that the two men accused of killing him may get a plea deal, even though the case has been approved by a judge to be a death penalty case.
“It’s an officer who was murdered in uniform, it’s a capital case, it deserves a capital punishment,” says Shaki’ra Wilson-Burroughs, Robert’s sister. “They took my brother’s life.”
It was March 5th, 2015, when 22nd district officer Wilson entered a video game shop in North Philadelphia to buy a gift for his son who had a birthday approaching, and was getting good grades.
According to authorities, two men entered the store, attempting to rob the place, when Wilson intervened.
“The physician came up and even told us, one of the bullets hit Robbie as he was going down. Which means, (the shooters) were still firing, after he was ready to hit the floor. There was no mercy there,” says Shaki’ra.
Brothers Carlton Hipps and Ramone Williams were charged with murder and, last summer, a city judge approved the prosecution’s push to seek the death penalty.
But Wilson’s family says since District Attorney Larry Krasner has been outspoken about opposing capital punishment, and because of a possible conflict of interest, Krasner should kick it up to Pennsylvania’s Attorney General.
“Give him the justice he deserves,” says Wilson’s grandmother Constance Wilson, who raised both Shaki’ra and Robert.
The conflict, they say, is within the defense counsel. Defense attorney Michael Coard, who represents Hipps, is notoriously critical of police officers and more importantly, they say, is a big supporter of Krasner, even serving as part of his transition team.
“How are we supposed to feel confident that a fair decision will be made on behalf of my brother when the opposite side is anti-police,” says Shaki’ra. “Is Krasner the same? Is he going to follow that suit, or is he going to uphold justice and seek proper justice for my brother?”
Both women believe a plea deal may be in the works, which they are fully against.
During a recent visit from the District Attorney, they say, Krasner never showed sympathy for their loss, but instead asked how they would feel about a plea deal for the defendants.
“Life in prison, so what? So my nephews have to pay tax dollars to keep supporting them while they are living in prison,” Shaki’ra says.
“Information, and evidence, is there, nothing is lacking,” says Constance. “Go forward.”
There is currently a hold on all death penalty cases under Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf.
“Governor Wolf isn’t in office indefinitely,” says Shaki’ra.
“They’re probably in the cell, jumping up and down going ‘we’re going to get a lesser sentence.’ Well, I got news for your buddies, you dealing with the Wilsons.”
The Philadelphia District Attorney’s office issued the following statement:
“The Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office is committed to finding justice for the Wilson family. DA Krasner, who already met with members of Officer Wilson’s Family, understands their frustration and continues to extend his support and condolences during this continued difficult time. As of today, the office is continuing to review this case.”