Richard Wilkerson entered a plea of “not guilty” in his arraignment hearing in Johnson County District Court Wednesday afternoon to the charge of second degree murder, stemming from the death of 45 year-old Brian Newman in a Buffalo bar earlier this year.
Wilkerson appeared before Judge William J. Edelman, who explained the charges against Wilkerson and the consequences if convicted.
He then advised Wilkerson of the various pleas available to him and explained other penalties that could be imposed on him. In addition to the 20 years to life in prison and up to a $10,000 fine, he could be required to pay restitution, contribute to the victim's fund and pay for any assessments he may be ordered to undergo.
Judge Edelman then explained his Constitutional rights to him.
Wilkerson then entered his plea and Judge Edelman accepted it.
Judge Edelman then outlined the next steps in the process, saying there will be a Criminal Case Management Order issued in the next few days that will outline a pre-trial conference date and set a trial date.
Although not set, Judge Edelman said due to the defense attorney's schedule, the pre-trial conference would likely be set for February and the trial tentatively set for early April.