Jury selection has begun in Pensacola in the murder trial of a former member of the U.S. Army from Andalusia.

Shannon Wilkerson, 42, is charged with the murder of a pregnant 19-year-old soldier at a former U.S. Army base in Germany in 2001.

Wilkerson was arrested in February 2023 and charged with one count of first-degree murder. He is accused of the murder of Amanda Gonzales on November 3, 2001, at Fliegerhorst Kaserne, then a U.S. Army base in Hanau, Germany.

The FBI says Gonzales, also a U.S. Army soldier, was 19 years old at the time and four months pregnant. Her body was found in her barracks on November 5, 2001, after she failed to report for work. She died from strangulation, according to the FBI.

Wilkerson was 21 years old at the time and a member of the Army. He was discharged in 2004 and returned to Andalusia.

Wilkerson is charged under the Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act, which gives U.S. federal courts jurisdiction over crimes committed outside the United States by former members of the Armed Forces who are no longer subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

If convicted, Wilkerson faces a maximum penalty of life in prison.

The FBI investigated the case.

Jim ‘Zig’ Zeigler writes about Alabama’s people, places, events, groups and prominent deaths.  He is a former Alabama Public Service Commissioner and State Auditor. You can reach him for comments at ZeiglerElderCare@yahoo.com.

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