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Death penalty still on table as prosecutors continue probe in cop killing

Ramone Williams, Carlton HippsPPD/Metro

Prosecutors have not ruled out the death penalty for two men accused of killing Philadelphia police officer Robert Wilson III during a shootout at a North Philadelphia video game store.

 

A preliminary hearing for Ramone Williams, 24, and Carlton Hipps, 29, was rescheduled for May at the request of prosecutors, who say they are continuing a background investigation that could play a role into whether the the office seeks the death penalty.

“That’s not a decision that’s made lightly,” said Assistant District Attorney Brian Zarallo. “Obviously there are a lot of considerations. a great many of those factors are things were analyzing and continuing to look into.

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Wilson was on duty and in uniform, buying a video game for his son in the GameStop at 22nd and Lehigh Avenue when two men burst in announced a robbery.  Police say more than 50 shots were fired during a shootout, during which Wilson was shot multiple times, including in the head.

Wilson’s partner, Damien Stevenson, who was outside the store when the shooting began shot Hipps in the leg as he exited the store. Williams ran back into the store, where customers identified him to police.

Prosecutors say they plan to present “overwhelming” evidence at the preliminary hearing, that both men shot Wilson. That evidence includes surveillance video from inside the store and body camera video from a responding officer.

 
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