Army National Guard soldier charged with murder of Alabama police officer following shootout

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Grady Wayne Wilkes

(Facebook)

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.

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©2019 Alabama Media Group, Birmingham. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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