Ohio Supreme Court upholds death sentence in 2013 murder case

COLUMBUS — The Ohio Supreme Court confirmed the death sentence of a Youngstown man who killed a woman and shot another in a 2013 shooting.

Lawyers for Willie Wilks Jr., 46, argued his case before the state's high court in January, but the court unanimously rejected his appeal in an opinion issued today.

A Mahoning County jury found Wilks guilty on seven counts after the 2013 shooting death of Ororo Wilkins. Judge Lou A. D’Apolito of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court upheld the jury’s recommendation to sentence Wilks to death.

Wilks had argued with members of Wilkins family over a bank card earlier on May 21, the day of the murder. He returned to a home occupied by members of her family with a semiautomatic rifle and killed Wilkins and shot another man holding a 5-month-old girl at the time. The girl was not injured.

Wilks' appeal argued that the eyewitness testimony presented at trial was not sufficient to prove his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

“The state need only have had sufficient evidence, not the best possible evidence, to survive a challenge on insufficiency grounds,” the court wrote.

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