BLYTHEVILLE, Ark. – In his final moments, Richard Wilkins, Jr., 28, acted to save his brother’s life at the expense of his own, his surviving brother said.
Wilkins was shot sometime around 8:30 p.m. Monday evening at Williams Park in Blytheville. He died at Great River Medical Center.
But police believe he wasn’t the target of the shooter, said the probable cause affidavit obtained by NEA Report. The target of the shooting, whom we are not identifying, spoke to police and told them he was there during the shooting and could identify the killer.
Sgt. John Frazier and Investigator Branton Hall interviewed the intended target at the Great River Medical Center, the affidavit says. He told the investigators that he has been having problems with Cameron Wells, 18, Quadrell Dequan Bledsoe, 22, and Gerome Spiller, 16, for approximately a month. The victim told police the three defendants had confronted him on several occasions within that time period and that he had engaged in more than one fight with Spiller.
The would-be-shooting victim said Monday evening, he and his family were at Williams Park when Spiller, Wells, and Bledsoe pulled up in a black car. He said Spiller got out with a handgun and confronted him, but he told Spiller he, “don’t get down with guns,” and that Spiller threw the handgun on the ground. They began to fight.
The man was beginning to get the better of Spiller, he said, when Wells and Bledsoe joined in the fight. He stated he was knocked to the ground and saw Wells pick up the handgun and point it in his direction. Reacting, his’ brother, Wilkins, jumped over him for protection.
After the gun went off, everyone started to run, he continued telling police, when he then realized Wilkins had been shot. He rushed Wilkins to the hospital. His brother used his own body as a shield to save his life. It worked – at the cost of Wilkins’ own.
The surviving brother was shown a photographic lineup composed of six photographs, one being of Wells. He immediately picked Wells from the lineup as the person he saw fire the handgun. He circled and initialed Wells photograph.
Bledsoe turned himself in at the Blytheville Police Department on Tuesday where he was taken into custody and interviewed by Sgt. Frazier and Inv. Hall. Bledsoe told authorities he was at Williams Park at the time of the incident and was with the co-defendants “hanging out.”
Bledsoe was transported to Mississippi County Sheriff’s Department. He’s being charged with first degree murder. He was arraigned on Thursday, June 1, in Osceola District Court.
Also on Thursday, Spiller turned himself into the Mississippi County Sheriff’s Office where he was interviewed by Frazier and Hall. Spiller told them he was in the park with the co-defendants and had arrived in a black in color Nissan sedan, the affidavit says.
Spiller, being charged as an adult, is accused of first degree murder, as well. He was also arraigned on Thursday.
Wells turned himself into the Blytheville Police Department on Wednesday. He was transported to the Mississippi County Sheriff’s Office. Detectives traveled to the sheriff’s department to interview him. He is charged with first degree murder and possession of a firearm by certain persons. He, too, was arraigned Thursday.
Wells has a $500,000 bond. Bledsoe’s is $250,000. Spiller has had a $100,000 set, all according to Prosecutor Scott Ellington.
Two of the suspects have a significant criminal history which led up to their facing murder charges. For Bledsoe, his record includes arrests for burglary, theft of property, terroristic threatening (first degree), third degree assault, six failure to appear counts, obstructing government operations, refusal to submit to arrest, disorderly conduct and driving on a suspended license.
Wells has prior arrests for acts including first degree battery, terrorist act (four separate charges), criminal use of a prohibited weapon, aggravated residential burglary, theft of property, second degree criminal mischief, third degree domestic battery, criminal trespass and first degree criminal mischief.
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