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Murder Database


James Wilson was sentenced to death by the State of South Carolina for a school shooting

According to court documents James Wilson would go to Oakland Elementary School where he would kill Shequila Bradley and Tequila Thomas, both children were eight years old. Wilson would also injure seven other students and two teachers

James Wilson would be arrested, convicted and sentenced to death

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James Wilson Case

On the morning of September 26, 1988, Jamie Wilson drove to his maternal grandmother’s house and stole her .22 caliber, nine-shot revolver. Wilson then drove to an Abbeville discount store and purchased some .22 hollow-point long rifle ammunition. Wilson discarded the bullets already loaded in the gun, and reloaded the weapon with the more destructive hollow-point bullets. Wilson next proceeded to the Oakland Elementary School in Greenwood, where he parked his 1974 Maverick. He entered the school, finding his way to the cafeteria, where he stood quietly for a moment. It was right at lunch time for many of the children. Next, Wilson pulled out the pistol and began shooting, picking his victims, both children and adults, at random. Witnesses observed a look of hatred and rage masking Wilson’s face.

James Wilson fired until his gun was empty. He then went into a restroom and reloaded the weapon, after which he entered a classroom and opened fire again. After emptying his gun a second time, Wilson threw the gun down and stepped outside through a window. A teacher spotted him and told him to remain still with his hands up, which Wilson did. The police then arrived and took Wilson into custody.

The terror created and damage inflicted by Wilson on September 26 was considerable, and an entire nation was shocked, as the unthinkable had occurred. One female first *501 grade teacher was shot once in the shoulder and once in the left hand, with the bullet traveling through her hand and into her throat. A young boy slumped forward onto a cafeteria table after Wilson aimed his pistol at the boy’s temple and fired, hitting the boy in the head. Two little girls, both age eight, were shot dead. Children screamed; children fled; children hid under their desks; other children were shot.

Altogether, Wilson was indicted for two counts of murder, nine counts of assault and battery with intent to kill, and one count of illegally carrying a firearm. Wilson pled “guilty but mental ill” (GBMI) to substantially all of the charges, and his plea was accepted. He was sentenced to twenty years, each sentence to be served consecutively, for each of eight counts of assault and battery with intent to kill; ten years, consecutive, for assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature; and five years, consecutive, for illegally carrying a firearm. Wilson elected to have the penalty phase of his capital murder charges tried by the trial judge without a jury. The trial judge affirmatively found the existence of two statutory aggravating circumstances: (1) murder wherein two or more persons are murdered pursuant to one act or scheme; and (2) murder of a child eleven years of age or under. The trial judge also found the existence of four statutory mitigating circumstances: (1) defendant has no significant history of prior violent crime conviction; (2) the murder was committed under the influence of mental or emotional disturbance; (3) capacity of the defendant to appreciate the criminality of his conduct or to conform his conduct to the requirements of law was substantially impaired; and (4) the age or mentality of the defendant at the time of the crime. Wilson was then sentenced to death for each of the two murders. Wilson now appeals his death sentence.


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