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Wilkerson Challenges Life Sentence for Heacook Murder

The individual convicted of the murder of Delmar police officer Cpl. Keith Heacook in April 2021 is now challenging his conviction on 16 counts, including first-degree murder, before the Delaware Supreme Court.

Randon Wilkerson, aged 32, received a sentence of two life imprisonments plus an additional 212 years in December following his conviction for the murder of Heacook. The decision to appeal was always a component of Wilkerson’s legal counsel, led by attorney Patrick Collins.

In October, Wilkerson opted for a bench trial, where a judge, in this case, Judge Craig Karznitz, determines the verdict based on evidence presented, omitting a jury trial. This strategic choice aimed to expedite the appeals process due to the weight of evidence against Wilkerson. Consequently, the trial did not feature eyewitness testimonies or substantial physical evidence.

Mat Marshall, the spokesperson for the Delaware Department of Justice, expressed confidence in the state’s position, the Superior Court’s decision, and Wilkerson’s conviction, despite acknowledging the continued ordeal for Cpl. Heacook’s family and colleagues.

During the trial, Judge Karznitz admitted two key pieces of evidence: a joint statement of facts agreed upon by Deputy Attorney General David Hume and Collins, and a 17-minute body camera recording.

As per the agreed-upon facts, Heacook responded solo to the residence of Charles Meagher, where Wilkerson resided with six others. Wilkerson, under the influence of methamphetamine, crack cocaine, heroin, and alcohol on his birthday, engaged in altercations, including assaulting his girlfriend and displaying erratic behavior. Subsequently, Wilkerson attacked Heacook with a dumbbell and the officer’s baton, resulting in Heacook’s fatal injuries. Following the assault, Wilkerson proceeded to the Franklin household, falsely alleging a rape incident and assaulting the residents before abruptly ceasing the attack and departing.

Body camera footage displayed in court depicted Heacook incapacitated on the floor upon officers’ arrival.

While detained at Delaware State Police Troop 5 in Bridgeville, Wilkerson was overheard admitting to assaulting Heacook and later confessed to the killing in the presence of a police officer. Subsequent investigations revealed Wilkerson’s DNA on Heacook’s belongings and at the scene of the Franklin assault.