As we reported late Saturday night, a jury in Johnson County District Court found Richard Cameron Wilkerson guilty of second degree murder in the death of 45 year-old Brian Newman.
The verdict was returned around 9pm Saturday, after nearly eight hours of deliberation. The jury was given the case earlier in the day after closing arguments by both the defense and prosecution.
The trial began Monday with selection and seating of the jury. Testimony and presentation of evidence began Tuesday and continued until Friday afternoon.
Wilkerson was found guilty of second degree murder for causing the death of Newman in a bar altercation last September in Buffalo.
According to testimony, an argument between Newman and a group of people, including Wilkerson, continued to escalate until Wilkerson hit Newman in the head, causing him to fall to the ground. Newman died of cranial hemorrhaging from trauma to the head suffered in the fall.
In a press release Sunday, Johnson County Prosecuting Attorney Ken DeCock said, “This was a very difficult, emotional case for the families of the victim and the defendant. Both have suffered great loss. I commend the jurors for their attentiveness during trial and the amount of time they spent considering all the facts. Being a juror is a very difficult duty and each of them obviously took this responsibility very seriously.”
DeCock also wanted to recognize the Buffalo Police Department for their work investigating the incident and the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office for courteous and professional security during the proceedings.
After the verdict was read, Judge William J. Edelman ordered a pre-sentencing investigation to be conducted. No sentencing hearing has been scheduled as yet.
Wilkerson is facing 20 years to life in prison when he is sentenced.