Convicted Killer About to Get Out

By: Jeremy
By: Jeremy

September 21, 1993. Gene Hancock is shot twice in the head while sweeping the parking lot of the Junior Store at the corner of 15th Street and Transmitter Road in Springfield.

He dies two days later. Tyree Wilson is arrested and charged with 1st degree murder.

He's convicted by a jury and sentenced to life in prison. However, an appeals court overturned the conviction and Wilson got a new trial. During one of his trials for killing Hancock, it comes out the night of the killing Wilson reportedly told friends he wanted to kill a white man.

That's why Wilson put a gun to Hancock's head, forced him to his knees in the parking lot, and made him beg for his life before shooting him twice.

Wilson was eventually found guilty of 2nd degree murder and sentenced to 22 years in prison, the maximum allowed under state sentencing guidelines at the time.

Wilson is getting out of prison in a couple of weeks on Feb. 1 despite serving just 10 years of his 22-year sentence.

"To think that someone could be getting out of prison in less than 11 years is unbelievable," said Al Harris, spokesman for the Hancock family.

So why is Wilson being let go so soon?
It has to do with old state sentencing guidelines.
Under what's known as "gain time" prisoners typically served about half of their sentence.

The law was changed in1998, so that prisoners must now serve at least 85-percent of their sentence, but that's of little consequence to friends and family of Gene Hancock.

"There's no one I have more contempt for than Tyree Wilson," said Harris.

Once Wilson is out of prison, he'll be on probation for 10 years. Once he's out of prison, he'll be living at 2502 East 10th Street in Panama City. That's only a couple blocks from where Gene Hancock was killed in 1993.

There were two other people with Wilson the night of Hancock's killing. One was never charged, the other was found not guilty of being a principal to first-degree murder.


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