OPELIKA, Ala. (WRBL) – A five-day jury selection process is complete in the Capital Murder trial of a man accused of gunning down Auburn Police Officer William Buechner and inuring other officers in 2019. 

32-year-old Grady Wilkes is charged in the Capital Murder of Officer Buechner, a 37-year-old husband, and father of two who served as a peace officer for 13 years. 

Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.  

Friday morning 12 jurors and four alternates were chosen by both the defense and prosecution after four days of intense questioning regarding their potential knowledge of the case, their feelings on capital punishment, and other issues critical to seating a fair and impartial jury.

After the jurors were informed they had been selected, they were dismissed for the weekend and asked to return Monday morning when we expect opening statements and testimony to begin.

Prosecutors say on May 19, 2019, Auburn officers met with a female victim who reported her live-in boyfriend and child’s father, Grady Wilkes, had choked her and threatened to kill her. The woman had run away from the mobile home where the couple lived off Wire Road and had met with responding officers near the front of the Arrowhead mobile home community. Prosecutors say when officers knocked on the door of the home, Wilkes answered wearing body armor and immediately began firing at the officers. Wilkes was allegedly armed with an AR-15. Officer Buechner, Officer Webb Sistrunk, and Officer Evan Elliott were all struck by gunfire, another officer escaped without injury.


Wilkes was arrested some nine hours later about a mile away from the scene of the shooting. Wilkes was in the Army National Guard. Police say they had no prior contact with Wilkes. 

Buechner’s murder marked the darkest day in Auburn Public Safety history as he was the first officer killed in the line of duty in the department’s history.