PHILADELPHIA (WTXF) - Two men accused in the murder of Philadelphia police officer Robert Wilson III were in court Wednesday for a pre-trial hearing.
Police say Wilson was shot to death by Carlton Hipps and Ramone Williams inside a North Philadelphia GameStop three years ago.
Hipps was shot in the leg by Wilson's partner as he tried to get away. Williams was caught inside the store.
Sgt. Wilson's family spoke with FOX 29 last week and expressed their desire to keep the death penalty on the table for Williams and Hipps.
"This was a capital case and this was going to be capital punishment and all the ducks was in order until Krasner came in," said Wilson's grandmother Constance. She referred to Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner who she says is now backing down seeking the death penalty.
"The case was sewed up. They had all the proof, the evidence, the witnesses, they had the gun, the guy in the store and they had the video of him shooting my child." Constance also feels Krasner should turn over the case to Attorney General Josh Shapiro because of what she calls a conflict of interest involving a defense attorney on the case who was on Krasner's transition team.
The DA's office released this statement in response the family's concerns: "The Philadelphia District Attorney's Office is committed to finding justice for the Wilson family. DA Krasner, who already met with members of Sergeant Wilson's family, understands their frustration and continues to extend his support and condolences during this continued difficult time."
Following Wednesday's continuance, the DA's office released another statement:
"The Philadelphia District Attorney's Office is committed to fighting for justice in the horrific murder of Sergeant Wilson. DA Krasner, who already met with some members of Sergeant Wilson's family, understands their trauma and continues to extend his support and condolences during this difficult time. We also continue to reach out to other members of his family, including the mothers of his children. As of today, the office is continuing to review the case through the office's Homicide Sentencing Committee. It remains a death penalty case at this time.
"Michael Coard was a volunteer member of DA Krasner's transition team, along with scores of other lawyers, academics, elected officials and community leaders. The transition team included many different perspectives and Mr. Coard was simply one voice among many. Larry has not spoken to Mr. Coard about this case or any other criminal cases since becoming District Attorney. Mr. Coard has no formal or informal role in the DA's office. Our prosecutors will continue to operate in an independent and ethical manner on all cases."