Day 1: Penalty phase for convicted double-murderer Wade Wilson

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

Convicted double-murderer Wade Wilson is set to appear in court for his penalty phase on Monday.

Wilson was convicted of the first-degree murders of Kristine Melton and Diane Ruiz in 2019.

During the first day of the penalty phase, Ruiz’s youngest son, Zane Romero, 19, took to the stand to speak on Wilson’s impact and destruction.

“I was in marching band, and the week prior, she told me how excited she was to go and watch me perform at that weekend football game,” said Romero. “She would have been her first time seeing me perform because that was my first year in that marching band. She never got to see me perform. And I never got the experience of seeing her in the crowd.”

During the emotional testimony, it was noted that Diane would never get to see her son get into college, earn a full-ride scholarship, and run his own business at age 16.

Zane told the jury that he refused to disappoint his mother after death.

“My mom didn’t get the chance to see me accomplish things. My mother will never get the chance to see me get married, graduate college as a first-generation graduate, or get to see me get my first real job,” said Romero. “During college, I was sent to the ER for the first time. I got into my first car accident, and the only person I wanted to call was my mom,”

Wilson was initially scheduled to appear on Thursday; however, his attorney, Lee Hollander, was sick.

Additional challenges were created as there was difficulty in bringing in an expert to examine Wilson’s mental health.

Wilson’s defense argued that the murders were not premeditated; however, the state countered the argument after using Wilson’s own words to law enforcement against him.

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