By Carlin Kempt
SACRAMENTO – Whom do the police arrest when nobody can be found connected to the crime? In James Wilkerson’s case, he claims it was him.
Friday, in Sacramento County Superior Court, Sacramento police officer Ryan Gross described the incident.
After responding to a shot-spotter call, Gross arrived at the home of Wilkerson and his wife for a preliminary statement. As he noted, the couple described a male entering their home with a gun, taking Wilkerson’s father-in-law to a back room, pointing a gun at them, hearing shots fired, and seeing the man fleeing the house shortly after.
Wilkerson’s father-in-law was the only one left injured after this armed in-home burglary.
After conducting a parole search, in which Wilkerson gave the police full permission to “tear apart” his room, Gross located ammunition in Wilkerson’s closet. The defendant gave police officers the wrong name. Due to his parole, Wilkerson was afraid to reveal his real name for fear the investigation of shots fired would turn on him.
And it did. But because of his parole status and not giving his true name to officers led to charges, including two felonies for being a felon in possession of a weapon and ammunition, and a misdemeanor for lying to a peace officer about his identity.
Following Gross’s turn on the Zoom stand, Assistant Public Defender Anthony Crisostomo argued that the defendant’s name wasn’t even on the lease of the house where the ammunition was found, nor did he ever reside there. Instead, the home was simply an address to give to his parole officer.
Crisostomo added the couple stayed in a front room of the house while the robbery went down in the back. Crisostomo also pointed out that the only found gun was a shotgun, but the rounds of ammunition found don’t correlate with a shotgun. So, the public defender asked, how could Wilkerson be behind the gun if he didn’t know about its whereabouts in the first place?
Following these statements, Crisostomo asked the judge to excuse the case all-together.
Judge Helena Gweon, however, decided not to discount the fact that Wilkerson claimed responsibility for living in the house and everything within it, ruling that a trial will be held Oct. 22 at 8:30 a.m.
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