Robins Airman could face death penalty in capital murder case

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  • Robins Public Affairs
A Robins Airman accused of murder could potentially face the death penalty. In the case of U.S. vs. Senior Airman Charles Amos Wilson III, Lt. Gen. Bruce Litchfield, Air Force Sustainment Center commander and convening authority, has referred charges to a general court-martial as a capital referral.

That means the death penalty could be considered as a potential punishment if Wilson is convicted of premeditated murder.

The arraignment is scheduled Wednesday at the Naval Consolidated Brig in Charleston, S.C.

There is currently no trial date set, but Chief Trial Judge of the Air Force Col. Vance H. Spath has been assigned as the military judge in the case.

Wilson was arrested Aug. 31, 2013, in Tift County, Ga., by civilian authorities for suspected murder and feticide.  

The Air Force requested the state of Georgia waive jurisdiction over the charges so 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.  

At the request of the Pataula Judicial Circuit District Attorney - the prosecutor with jurisdiction over the state-law murder charges - the Tift County Superior Court ordered Wilson turned over to military authorities. The Air Force took custody of Wilson Nov. 12, 2013.  

The accused is charged with the premeditated murder of Tameda Ferguson.  He is also charged with the death of Ferguson's unborn child. 

Wilson is charged with committing murder while in the perpetration of aggravated arson, conspiracy, and burning with intent to defraud, based on misconduct alleged to have occurred in October 2011. It's alleged that Wilson conspired with Demetrius and Infini Hardy to burn down a home that Wilson rented as his residence, and that Demetrius Hardy died from injuries sustained while burning down the residence.    

Wilson also faces one specification of aggravated arson, two specifications of conspiracy, four specifications of assault, and seven specifications of intentional discharge of a firearm, three specifications of communicating a threat, two specifications of obstruction of justice and burning with intent to defraud.  

Most of those charges relate to misconduct alleged to have occurred between October 2011 and July 2012. One of the obstruction of justice charges relates to a recent allegation of misconduct, occurring when Wilson was in state custody.  

It is important to emphasize that the charges are accusations, and Wilson is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.