HUNTSVILLE — A Fort Worth jury sent Christopher Wilkins to death row for killing two men after he explained how he shot his victims over a $20 phony drug deal and that he didn’t care if he was sentenced to death.
“Look, it is no big deal,” Wilkins calmly said from the witness stand at his 2008 trial.
On Wednesday, the 48-year-old Wilkins is scheduled to die by lethal injection, pending the outcome of an appeal in the U.S. Supreme Court. If the execution goes ahead, it will be the nation’s first this year.
In 2005, after serving time in prison for gun possession, Wilkins drove a stolen truck to Fort Worth, where police tied him to several aggravated assaults and burglaries. There he befriended two men, Willie Freeman and Mike Silva, who duped him into paying $20 for a piece of gravel he thought was a rock of crack cocaine. According to court records, Wilkins said he shot Freeman on Oct. 28, 2005, for laughing about the scam, then he shot Silva because he was there.
Their bodies were found in a ditch. Wilkins’ fingerprints were found in Silva’s wrecked SUV and a pentagram matching one of Wilkins’ numerous tattoos was carved into the hood.
“When I get wound up, I have a fuse that is short,” Wilkins testified. “I don’t think about what I am doing.”
He also admitted that a day earlier, he shot and killed another man, Gilbert Vallejo, 47, outside a Fort Worth bar in a dispute over a pay phone, and about a week later he used a stolen car to try to run down two people because he believed one of them had taken his sunglasses.
“I know they are bad decisions,” Wilkins said of his actions. “I make them anyway.”
Kevin Rousseau, a Tarrant County assistant district attorney, described Wilkins as “a professional criminal. Very violent. He used violence as a means of achieving his means on a routine basis.”