Trial for accused killer of Auburn Officer William Buechner set to begin

Published: Jul. 31, 2023 at 7:01 PM EDT
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AUBURN, Ala. (WTVM) - A veteran accused of killing an Auburn police officer and shooting two others four years ago is getting his day in court after several delays. Whether he will be sentenced to death is hanging in the balance.

32-year-old Grady Wilkes will finally answer for the capital murder charges against him. According to police, on the night of May 19, 2019, at an Auburn trailer park on Wire Road, Wilkes killed Officer William Buechner and shot two other officers. Police held a press conference shortly after the incident, announcing his arrest after a nine-hour manhunt.

Police say the incident began from a domestic call about Wilkes choking and hitting his girlfriend at the time. When authorities arrived, opening the door with body armor, Wilkes immediately opened fire on the officers.

Court officials are staying tight-lipped until court proceedings are done but say they are going for the death penalty.

At this time, no deals are on the table for Wilkes. Court officials anticipate jury selection to last the rest of the week and the trial could go three weeks.

Stay with News Leader 9 as we bring you the latest on this trial.