A standing-room crowd – many of them Philadelphia Police officers – greeted two murder suspects as they appeared in a city courtroom to face charges that they gunned down an officer during a GameStop robbery earlier this year.
Carlton Hipps, a 29-year-old ex-convict, and Ramone Williams, his 25-year-old half-brother, are charged in the March 5 death of Wilson. Both suspects waived their preliminary hearing Wednesday morning as Officer Robert Wilson III’s grandmother and sister sat in the same room with the suspects for the first time.
Authorities said the uniformed officer stopped in the store to buy a gift for his son's 10th birthday.
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Wednesday’s hearing lasted only 20 minutes but both sides laid out their potential cases and possible witnesses.
Assistant District Attorney Brian Zarallo said the 30-year-old Wilson fought back in an intense shootout while seven civilians crouched behind a counter.
Prosecutors allege that each brother struck the officer with a potentially lethal shot. Prosecutors said the medical examiner is prepared to testify that Wilson was struck six times as police say he protected people inside the game store at Hope Plaza Shopping Center along W Lehigh Avenue in North Philadelphia.
Williams' lawyer says his client is remorseful and wants to cooperate. Hipps' lawyer says the evidence described in court Wednesday has not yet been proven true.
Both men face a slew of charges including murder and robbery. On Wednesday, prosecutors added a weapon charge for Hipps since a gun that he couldn’t possess since he was an ex-felon was found in his bedroom.