The second of two juveniles charged in connection with the August 2020 double murders of brothers Damian, 18, and Dillon, 17, Wikoff was sentenced April 26 to four years in juvenile detention, with credit for time already served.
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Because the individual was charged as a minor, their name cannot be publicly released. The sentence was the result of a plea-bargain wherein the individual in question plead guilty to one count of First Degree Murder.
On the night of the shootings, the Wikoff brothers had agreed to meet one of the suspects in the case, 17-year-old Michael Anthony Mendoza, to sell him a ‘ghost gun’ they had assembled from a kit they purchased online. Shortly after the Wikoff brothers arrived (in separate vehicles) to the scene of the meeting, one of the suspects allegedly fired several shots, hitting Damian and Dilon Wikoff multiple times. According to prosecutors, the suspects then stole the ghost gun they were supposed to purchase and fled the scene. Damian and Dillon Wikoff were transported to a nearby hospital where they succumed to their injuries, dying three minutes apart.
After being charged as an adult and facing multiple counts of First Degree Murder and numerous other charges, Mendoza also agreed to a deal with prosecutors and will be sentenced May 23.
Only one of the persons initially charged is expected to go to trial. Marqueil Deandre Banks, who was just 16 years old on the night of the murders, also was charged as an adult. Banks has admitted to shooting the Wikoff brothers, but claims it was an act of self defense. Banks’ defense attorney is attempting to have his case sent back to juvenile court. A “Reverse Transfer” hearing has already been held in the matter. A ruling on the request is expected in mid-May.
Before the latest (juvenile) sentence was handed down, Frankie Wikoff, mother of the victims, addressed the court via a tear-filled audio recording. Shying away from the details of the crime, she spoke about the bonds of love she shared with her children, the ever-present sense of loss her remaining family endures and the unnatural state of parents outliving their children. She said her sons were good human beings who were growing into being fine young men.
“There’s been no word created to explain the raw emotion that happens when you lose your children. It’s the only thing in the world that’s untainted — pure, unconditional love between a mother and a child,” she said. “They’re your investment for the future and you would have no problem laying down your life for them a hundred times.”
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