Get Task & Purpose in your inbox
Army National Guard soldier charged with murder of Alabama police officer following shootout
Grady Wayne Wilkes, the suspect in the slaying of Auburn police officer William Buechner, is an active member of the Alabama Army National Guard, guard officials confirmed to AL.com Tuesday.
Wilkes, 29, is a corporal and infantry fire team leader who joined the guard in 2010, according to Army National Guard public affairs. Guard officials said they have no record of Wilkes being deployed.
Wilkes' now-deleted Facebook page showed images of him in uniform with fellow soldiers.
Wilkes is charged with capital murder in the Sunday night shooting deaths of Buechner and the wounding of two other Auburn officers, Webb Sistrunk and Evan Elliott, when they responded to a domestic violence call at a mobile home park. At the time of the shootings, Wilkes was wearing body armor and a helmet. He fled the scene but was apprehended the next morning.
Officials said they plan to purse the death penalty against Wilkes, who is also charged with three counts of attempted murder and one count of second degree domestic abuse.
Grady Wayne Wilkes is charged with capital murder in the death of Officer William Buechner.
Wilkes is also a 2011 graduate of Daleville High School, according to the Daleville Sun-Courier newspaper.
"He was an active member of the DHS JROTC throughout his high school career, earning several accolades as part of the organization's rifle team as a sporter shooter. He also received the Sons of the American Revolution Award in honor of outstanding leadership qualities, military bearing and excellence," that report states.
Wilkes was denied bond during a hearing Tuesday in Opelika.
He was handcuffed and shackled about the legs as he answered a judge's questions politely.
A prosecutor says Wilkes has an "on-again, off-again" relationship with a woman who called the police alleging domestic abuse. He says the two aren't married.
Wilkes hasn't responded to the charges, but a judge appointed an attorney to represent him.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
©2019 Alabama Media Group, Birmingham. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
For U.S. service members who have fought alongside the Kurds, President Donald Trump's decision to approve repositioning U.S. forces in Syria ahead of Turkey's invasion is a naked betrayal of valued allies.
"I am ashamed for the first time in my career," one unnamed special operator told Fox News Jennifer Griffin.
In a Twitter thread that went viral, Griffin wrote the soldier told her the Kurds were continuing to support the United States by guarding tens of thousands of ISIS prisoners even though Turkey had nullified an arrangement under which U.S. and Turkish troops were conducting joint patrols in northeastern Syria to allow the Kurdish People's Protection Units, or YPG, to withdraw.
"The Kurds are sticking by us," the soldier told Griffin. "No other partner I have ever dealt with would stand by us."
Defense Secretary Mark Esper has confirmed that a nightmare scenario has come to pass: Captured ISIS fighters are escaping as a result of Turkey's invasion of Kurdish-held northeast Syria.
Turkey's incursion has led to "the release of many dangerous ISIS detainees," Esper said in a statement on Monday.
Video footage of a purported "bombing of Kurd civilians" by Turkish military forces shown on ABC News appeared to be a nighttime firing of tracer rounds at a Kentucky gun range.
The U.S. military's seemingly never-ending mission supporting civil authorities along the southwestern border will last at least another year.
On Sept. 3, Defense Secretary Mark Esper approved a request from the Department of Homeland Security to provide a total of up to 5,500 troops along the border until Sept. 30, 2020, Lt. Gen. Laura Richardson, commander of U.S. Army North, said on Monday.