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Accused Decatur street gunman denies attempted murder charge


DECATUR — Roy M. Wilks Jr., accused of opening fire on a Decatur street and trying to shoot to death a man who once robbed him, pleaded not guilty to a charge of attempted murder Wednesday.

Wilks, 30, was arraigned in Macon County Circuit Court and also pleaded not guilty to charges of aggravated discharge of a firearm, aggravated unlawful use of a weapon and being a felon in possession of a weapon.

Prosecuting, Macon County State’s Attorney Jay Scott said the charges date to Sept. 2 when Wilks encountered a 41-year-old man outside of a liquor store in the 1100 block of East Wood Street.

A sworn police affidavit quotes the man as saying he had previously been arrested on aggravated battery and robbery charges against Wilks and feared there was going to be trouble when he saw Wilks climb out of a car with another man, Jamar M. Lee.

The man said he took off and looked back to see Wilks standing in a field near the store and taking aim at him with a gun. “He stated he heard a ‘pop’ and saw the flash (muzzle flash),” the affidavit said.

“He stated he ducked down and heard a ‘ping’ as if the bullet had struck a nearby vehicle. He stated he got up and began running west on Wood Street and that as he was running he heard two more ‘pops’ which he identified as shots being fired.”

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The affidavit said after talking to the victim, who was “very excitable and breathing very heavily,” police inquiries quickly led them to a house in the 900 block of East Main Street. Officers said they arrived just as Lee was walking outside with the gun wrapped in a shirt. The affidavit said Lee described the .38 caliber revolver as the weapon used in the shooting and said a “frantic” Wilks had told him to get rid of the gun. Wilks was found and arrested Sept. 8.

Defending, Chief Public Defender David Ellison had several questions for Police Officer Megan Welge, who was giving evidence. Among those questions was whether the recovered firearm was found fully loaded — it was — and whether any vehicles were found with bullet damage. Welch said no such vehicles were found.

Judge Phoebe Bowers found probable cause for Wilks to stand trial and set a pretrial hearing for Nov. 8 before Judge Thomas Griffith. Wilks remains in the Macon County Jail in lieu of posting $250,000 bond.

Jamar M. Lee, 37, appeared in court Sept. 27 and was sentenced to 60 days in jail after pleading guilty to aggravated unlawful use of a weapon, a Class 4 felony. He was also placed on probation for 24 months in a plea deal that requires him to give evidence against Wilks.

Contact Tony Reid at (217) 421-7977. Follow him on Twitter: @TonyJReid


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