Alabama Man Convicted of Killing Pregnant Soldier, 19, on US Army Base in Germany 23 Years Ago

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An Alabama man was convicted by a federal jury Monday of the 2001 strangling and beating death of a pregnant soldier on a U.S. Army base in Germany, prosecutors announced Tuesday.

Shannon Wilkerson, 43, killed 19-year-old Amanda Gonzales, a fellow Army soldier, in Gonzales’ barracks room in Fliegerhorst Kaserne, then a U.S. Army base in Hanau, Germany, the Department of Justice said.

Wilkerson, an Army soldier at the time, believed Gonzales was pregnant with his child when he strangled and beat her, prosecutors said.

Wilkerson was discharged from the Army, and Gonzales’ murder case went cold before Wilkerson was arrested in Florida last year.

In announcing Wilkerson’s conviction, prosecutors did not say where the former soldier lived, and the DoJ could not immediately be reached for comment. But the Andalusia Star News of Alabama reported Wilkerson is from Andalusia.

He was convicted of second-degree murder Monday in federal court in Pensacola, Florida.

Wilkerson was charged under the Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act, which gives the U.S. federal courts jurisdiction over crimes committed outside the United States by, among others, former members of the Armed Forces who are no longer subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

“The defendant violently beat and murdered Amanda Gonzales -- a fellow soldier who was pregnant at the time -- at a U.S. Army base in Germany in 2001,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Nicole M. Argentieri, head of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. “His conviction yesterday, more than two decades later, is a testament to the Justice Department’s unrelenting pursuit of justice. Many dedicated law enforcement officers and prosecutors persisted for years, pursuing every available lead and never wavering in their search for evidence to hold the victim’s killer to account for his heinous crime.”

Wilkerson is scheduled to be sentenced on Aug. 8.

U.S. Attorney Jason R. Coody for the Northern District of Florida called the murder of Gonzales and her unborn child “a horrific act of violence.”

“This decades-long investigation and resulting prosecution demonstrate the unwavering resolve of our law enforcement partners and their commitment to use every tool available to protect Americans, especially those serving our country,” he said.

“Twenty-two years ago, Shannon Wilkerson brutally murdered Amanda Gonzales, who he believed was pregnant with his child,” said Executive Assistant Director Timothy R. Langan Jr. of the FBI’s Criminal, Cyber, Response, and Services Branch. “Yesterday’s conviction is a testament to our unwavering commitment of pursuing justice for victims of violent crime. Through the collaboration of law enforcement, the FBI and our partners will continue to seek justice for victims, no matter how long it takes.”

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