Life in prison for man who shot WPD officer

By Amy Cherry 1:52pm, April 25, 2014 - Updated 1:57pm, April 25, 2014
VIDEO: Wilmington Police Officer Justin Wilkers' mother, Shirley Shea, speaks on her son's behalf along with WPD spokesman Corporal Mark Ivey.
The man convicted of attempted murder for shooting a police officer in the face last year in Southbridge is sentenced.

WDEL's Amy Cherry reports.

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Frederick Gray appeared smug, showing no remorse as he was sentenced to life in prison plus 52 years for shooting Wilmington Police Officer Justin Wilkers in the face, nearly killing him.

Wilkers' did not speak to media after the sentencing. But he addressed Gray in court. His victim impact statement was brief, saying, "Every morning when you wake up in that cage, remember that you lost this fight, and we all won."

Wilmington Police are satisfied with the sentencing.

"Frederick Gray has proven to be a violent and dangerous person with no regard for human life or the rule of law," said Corporal Mark Ivey, spokesman for Wilmington Police.

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Ivey agrees with Wilkers' statement in court that "we all won."

"An assault on a police officer is an attack on every civilized, peaceful person in the State of Delaware, and so this isn't just a victory for Officer Wilkers, it's a victory for all of us," said Ivey.

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Prosecutors had also asked that Gray spend every February 3rd–-the anniversary of Wilker’s shooting--in solitary confinement so he could not celebrate, but a judge ignored that request.

Still, Prosecutor Matt Frawley says Judge Scott's sentencing sends a strong message.

"Anybody who ever decides to harm a police officer in the State of Delaware, the state will do anything it possibly can to make sure that person spends the rest of their life in jail," Frawley said.

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Prosecutor Joe Grubb remembers Gray well. He prosecuted Gray in a trial as an adult for a gun crime when he was just 16. Gray, now 22, has been in and out of the criminal justice system ever since.

"It's disturbing, and he deserves every year that he will spend in jail," Grubb said.

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Wilkers' mother Shirley Shea says no other sentencing would have satisfied her family.

"Every day they go out there and try to do a good job, and sometimes they get some bad press. This is what can happen to them just by doing their job every day," she said.

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