LINCOLN – A local man is facing homicide charges in connection with the execution-style shooting death of a 23-year-old man in Avon, Mass. nearly two years ago.
Willie Wilkerson, 27, of 1200 Lonsdale Ave., was arraigned in District Court Monday on charges of being a fugitive from justice in Massachusetts.
Wilkerson was arrested by a multi-agency task force on a homicide warrant issued by the Norfolk County District Attorney’s Office, according to Major Todd Catlow, commander of detectives for the Rhode Island State Police.
The warrant charges Wilkerson with the September 2011 murder of Kristopher Rosa, the district attorney said in a statement.
“Wilkerson had previously been charged with procuring perjury in connection with this murder investigation, which began after the September 19, 2011 shooting,” Peggie Krippendorf, a spokeswoman for the Norfolk County District Attorney’s office said.
He is the second person charged in Rosa’s killing, described as the first to have occurred in the small town of Avon in 15 years. Rhandisyn Lawrence, 24, of Stoughton was arrested for the homicide on Jan. 13.
Rosa was shot to death while driving a motor vehicle on a main thoroughfare in Avon while his girlfriend was a passenger in that car. The mother of Rosa’s then five-month old child, she drove Rosa to the Good Samaritan Medical Center in Brockton where he later died. Media accounts have variously described the killing as a “drive-by” and a “rolling ambush” in which two vehicles were involved and multiple shots were fired.
Though the district attorney’s office would not elaborate on motive yesterday, state prosecutors said in court previously that Lawrence shot Rosa because the two men were feuding for years and they had both been romantically involved with the same woman.
It’s unclear what the nature of Wilkerson’s relationship is with Lawrence. Krippendorf declined to elaborate on any of the information in the statement.
Wilkerson is entitled to an extradition hearing and is due for another appearance in court on Wednesday, but Massachusetts authorities said they're unsure when he’ll be transferred to their custody. In the meantime, Wilkerson remains held at the Adult Correctional Institutions, Cranston.
Major Catlow said a task force that included members of the state police major crimes unit, the Violent Fugitive Task Force, the U.S. Marshal’s Service, the Lincoln and Providence municipal police departments and the Massachusetts State Police took Wilkerson into custody at home without incident. Colonel Steven G. O’Donnell, superintendent of the state police, called it a “flawless apprehension.”
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