ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. --
Airman 1st Class Charles Wilson was sentenced by a military panel to life imprisonment without the eligibility of parole Feb. 22 for the premeditated murder of Tameda Ferguson and her unborn child.
The sentence came at the end of a seven-week capital court martial trial that brought Wilson to justice.
“We were motivated to prosecute Airman Wilson for this crime in order to bring justice to the Ferguson family for the loss of their daughter,” said Capt. Marcus Childress, 78th Air Base Wing trial counsel.
The panel, comprised of 13 officer and enlisted Air Force members, found in a unanimous decision that Wilson was guilty of the premeditated murder of Ferguson and her unborn child.
Following the guilty verdict, the panel spent 17 and a half hours deliberating Wilson’s sentence, ultimately sentencing him to life without the eligibility of parole, a reduction to E-1 airman basic, forfeiture of all pay and allowances, and a dishonorable discharge.
Wilson was arrested Aug. 31, 2013, by civilian authorities in Georgia for suspected murder and feticide. The Air Force requested the State of Georgia waive jurisdiction over these charges so that action could proceed under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
A waiver of civilian jurisdiction is generally required before court-martial action can go forward.
After consultation with Ferguson’s family, the Pataula District Attorney (the prosecutor with jurisdiction over the state law murder charges) agreed to transfer the case to the Air Force. At the request of the Pataula District Attorney, the Superior Court for Tift County, Georgia, ordered Wilson turned over to military authorities. Air Force authorities took custody of Wilson on Nov. 12, 2013.
Formal charges under the Uniform Code of Military Justice were brought on Dec. 31, 2013.
On Jan. 9, 2017, the court-martial began at the Houston County Courthouse in Perry, Georgia. Air Force prosecutors systemically laid out the case against Wilson through eyewitness testimony from Clifton Ferguson, Tameda Ferguson’s brother, the presentation of forensic evidence from crime scene specialists, and Georgia Bureau of Investigation and Air Force Office of Special Investigations findings.
The prosecutors also skillfully demonstrated through numerous witnesses and forensic evidence that Wilson’s alleged alibi was false.
Wilson was also convicted in a previous trial June 10, 2016, for assaulting Tech. Sgt. Denise Forrest by unlawfully striking her. The panel sentenced then Senior Airman Wilson to reduction in rank to E-3 (Airman 1st Class) and six months confinement. The conviction and sentencing in each of the court martial trials was done at the Houston County Courthouse in Perry, Georgia.
Wilson's crimes are an extreme departure from the high standards the Air Force sets for its people, and he is not representative of the exceptional Airmen serving and defending our nation.