PHILADELPHIA (AP/WTXF) - Two men charged in the 2015 shooting death of a Philadelphia police officer during a robbery have pleaded guilty in exchange for taking the death penalty off the table.
The sister of Officer Robert Wilson says word of the plea deal came at 3:58 p.m. Friday afternoon in a call from an employee of the DA's office. In court, family members heard DA Larry Krasner urge the judge to give the killers life without parole plus 50 to 100 years in jail. No death penalty.
"It's disrespectful, unprofessional and there wasn't even common courtesy," Sgt. Wilson's sister Shakl'ra Wilson said.
DA Larry Krasner, who took office in January, ran as a reformer in opposition to the death penalty. In court Monday, he told the judge the mothers of Wilson's children wanted life without parole for the killers to shield their kids from endless court hearings.
"The family is split and frankly the closest family members, the children and their parents do not want the death penalty," DA Krasner said.
It was March of 2015 when Officer Robert Wilson entered a North Philly GameStop for a security check and to buy a birthday gift for his son.
Confessed killers brothers Carlton Hipps and Ramone Williams entered the store as part of a robbery spree and opened fire on Wilson waiting in line to make his purchase.
Learning they would not sit on death row made a cop who shot one of Wilson's attackers criticize the DA.
"The top prosecutor didn't have enough guts to stay in the courtroom. He just got up and left," Philadelphia Police Officer Damien Stevenson said.
"I consider it justice deferred. These men don't deserve to share this city or earth with us," Officer Michael Riveria said.
In court, Krasner told the judge the mothers of Wilson's children were being harassed by his frequent critics at the Fraternal Order of Police.
Police Commissioner Richard Ross says he spoke to the FOP about it.
"They said they would do what they have to do," Commissioner Richard Ross said.
DA Krasner, later in a press conference, said he may take legal action.
"There has been physical aggression. What I probably forgot to say is there has been verbal abuse," he said.
A leader of the police union said he knew nothing about the alleged harassment.
"We have no idea about what the DA is referencing to when he suggests calling and intimidating witnesses," Vice President of the Fraternal Order of Police Roosevelt Poplar said.