Plea deal skirts murder conviction in officer death case - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Plea deal skirts murder conviction in officer death case

Butler and Wilkerson pleaded guilty to armed robbery, in exchange for the murder charges against them being dropped. Butler and Wilkerson pleaded guilty to armed robbery, in exchange for the murder charges against them being dropped.
Crash scene from 2011 Crash scene from 2011
Terry Lewis-Flemming Terry Lewis-Flemming
Two men pleaded guilty to armed robbery, aggravated assault, and aggravated assault on a police officer in court Wednesday afternoon.

25 year old Kentrell Butler and 25 year old Wesley Wilkerson stood before Judge Denise Marshall Wednesday afternoon in the Dougherty County Jail courtroom.

Many members of Albany Police Officer Terry Lewis Flemming's family and friends were in the courtroom as well.

Butler and Wilkerson pleaded guilty to armed robbery, in exchange for the murder charges against them being dropped.

Lewis-Flemming's sister said she did not know if any sentence would help their grief.

"I still think about her everyday," said Diane Cobb. "I look at her pictures on my phone, Facebook, my wall. It's bad. She will be missed."

In October 2011, prosecutors said Butler and Wilkerson robbed Albany Finance Company at gunpoint on Pine Avenue.

The manager said the robber held a gun against his head.

"Not only from that day but afterward, people are still dealing with the outcome of this situation," said James Glass.

While trying to escape, the robbers led dozens of law enforcement officers on a high-speed chase across the city.

Officer Terry Lewis-Flemming was speeding to try to cut off the suspected armed robbers when her patrol car was hit by another patrol car. The 36-year-old mother of three died from her injuries from the crash.

Butler and Wilkerson rammed a police officer's car as they tried to escape, but crashed and were later captured. The District Attorney said there would have been issues convicting them of murder.

"With the sentence received it was the equivalent of a life sentence, which would be what would be the result of a felony murder conviction anyway," explained D.A. Greg Edwards.

After their plea, Butler said he was sorry about Officer Lewis-Flemming's death. The two will have to serve 20 years in prison before they are eligible for parole.

Officer Terry Lewis Flemming's family agreed to the plea arrangement.

Wilkerson was also charged with an armed robbery of a loan company in Sylvester in 2011, and as part of his plea deal he must testify against Jessica Anderson, whose car was used in both robberies.

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