A former soldier was found guilty of capital murder in the May 19, 2019, killing of Auburn Police Officer William Buechner. Grady Wilkes, 33, now faces the death penalty.

Wilkes is accused of shooting three officers with an AR-15 while they responded to a domestic violence call.

Testimony during the trial revealed Wilkes was wearing his National Guard body armor and helmet and carrying a shield in the Arrowhead Mobile Home Park when he shot at the officers.

Buechner and two others were wounded. Prosecutors said Buechner was running towards the sound of gunshots to assist other officers when multiple shots struck him. According to reports, his body camera footage was played during the trial. After being shot, he fell into a ditch, and you can hear him say, “Lord, please help me.”

Wilkes pleaded not guilty by reason of mental defect. His attorneys said he did not mean to kill the officer.

A Lee County jury is now deciding if Wilkes will be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole or death.

To connect with the author of this story or to comment, email erica.thomas@1819news.com.

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