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YOUNGSTOWN June parolee faces felony gun charges



Published: Tue, September 17, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



The man jumped a $50,000 bond in 1991.

By JoANNE VIVIANO

VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER

YOUNGSTOWN -- A West Side man who was released from prison in June after serving 11 years on involuntary manslaughter, felonious assault and weapons convictions is back behind bars.

Willie G. Wilks Jr., 30, of West Heights Avenue, was unable to post the $50,000 cash or surety bond set Monday by municipal Judge Robert A. Douglas Jr. during an initial appearance on new felony gun charges.

He is in the Mahoning County jail as he awaits a hearing on charges of carrying a concealed weapon and illegal possession of a weapon by a convicted felon.

Traffic stop

Wilks was picked up by city police Sunday morning on the South Side after he drove a white Chevrolet Blazer through a red light on Market Street, police reports show. Officers found a loaded handgun under the driver's seat and a loaded magazine on the passenger seat.

Before the stop, officers received a report that someone in a white Blazer had fired two gunshots in the area.

Wilks was paroled from the Marion Correctional Institution on June 3, Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction records show.

He was sent there Nov. 1, 1991, for convictions of involuntary manslaughter, two counts of felony assault, three weapons violations and drug abuse.

Wilks pleaded guilty in October 1991 to killing 35-year-old Wohn Eckard in July 1990, and shooting Lee Johnson, who was 39 at the time, and Gary Hood, who was 36. All were from Youngstown.

Investigators said Wilks, 18 at the time, shot the men at Kimmel Brook Homes housing complex.

Failed to appear

After his arrest on the shooting charges, Wilks posted a $50,000 bond in April 1991 and, later that month, he was charged with carrying a concealed weapon. He posted an additional $3,700 bond and failed to appear for his May trial date.

Police found him in June 1991 at his mother's East Side apartment, where he lived. Investigators said they also found four handguns and a pair of pants with 24 rocks of suspected crack cocaine.




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