Jury sentences Wilson to life in prison

July 12, 2008 6:56:20 PM PDT
Jurors in the Jakiem Wilson murder case sentenced him to life in prison Saturday.After one day of testimony and another day of deliberations, a Wake County jury sentenced Wilson to life in prison in the capital murder trial.

His attorney called Wilson's mother, sister and a psychologist to testify -- to try to convince jurors to spare his client's life.

After hearing horror stories about how Wilson killed his wife, Nneka Wilson, jurors spent much of Friday hearing about Wilson's good side.

The defense called a parade of witnesses, including Jakiem's former girlfriend, a teacher, a cousin, his sister, his grandmother, his father and his mother.

Kvanessa Wilson, Jakiem's mother, talked about her son's revelation that as a child, he was sexually molested by a man who lived at his grandmother's house.

She says it was her son's wife, Nneka, who make him tell her. And she said it was Nneka who consoled her.

"Nneka was sweet," Kvanessa said as she cried. "She's gonna be alright."

Jakiem stabbed Nneka to death at the couple's home near Wendell February 2007.

Witnesses described a brutal murder that happened while the couple's two small children were home. They were not harmed. Nneka Wilson's mother and stepfather have since adopted Matthias, 4, and Naja, 2.

Witnesses testified that Wilson told them he waited with a knife behind his back as his wife showered and told jokes as he used her hairbrush to clean up blood.

Roderick Ryan Howell and Jamie Russell Holder said Wilson complained that his wife nagged him and would want child support if the two split up.

They are charged with helping Wilson cover up the crime and are being held at the Wake County Jail on charges of being accessories. Their bond is set at $2 million.

Friday a defense psychologist said that's the kind of thing men who are sexually abused as children are capable of.

"Explosions, anger, fits of rage," Dr. Matt Mendel, psychiatrist for the defense, said.

Wilson will not take the stand in his own defense.


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