Wade Wilson found guilty on all 6 counts, including first-degree murder

Reporter: Elizabeth Biro Writer: Nicholas Karsen
Published: Updated:

Wade Wilson has been found guilty on all six counts, including the first-degree murder of two Cape Coral women.

Following a brief deliberation process by the jury, Wednesday, all twelve jurors found Wilson guilty of battery, grand theft of a motor vehicle, first-degree petit theft, burglary of a dwelling, and the first-degree murder charges of Kristine Melton and Diane Ruiz.

Wilson did not react much as he sat and heard the verdict. He was then fingerprinted and led away in handcuffs, back into the custody of Lee County Sheriff’s deputies.

“This case was never about Mr. Wilson. It’s about what Wade Wilson did to Christine Melton and Diane Ruiz. And make no mistake about it. Despite his bragging, his boasting, and the excitement he wants to feel, this case was nothing more than a graphic, vulgar display of power,” said Andreas Gardner, State Attorney’s Office.

During closing arguments earlier Wednesday morning, Wilson’s defense team said the murders were not pre-mediated and that it was from a man with a depraved mind, hoping for a second-degree murder sentence.

The State said that he wasn’t a depraved mind but a man who wanted to kill and would kill again without regret or remorse.

The defense team argued that Wilson was under the influence of drugs at the time, which impacted his decision-making.

Following two days of witness testimonies, the released body camera footage of Wilson before his arrest, and a surprise confession from Wilson’s father, the jury was given everything needed in their final assessment.

During the second day of testimonies, the defense called for a mistrial after the body camera footage was shown by the defense, claiming that the evidence on it may have prejudiced the jury.

After the motion was filed, the judge decided to take a 10-minute recess, where afterward, the evidence was admissible.

Despite the overwhelming evidence provided by the prosecution, Wilson’s defense team felt it was unnecessary to call witnesses during the trial. His lawyers also never delivered an opening statement.

Wilson will start the penalty phase at 9 a.m. on June 20. The state and defense anticipate that it will take one to two days to proceed.

The recommendation of Wilson’s penalty will be discussed, and the death penalty may be recommended.

Copyright ©2024 Fort Myers Broadcasting. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without prior written consent.