Waco: Witness tampering defendant sentenced

Published: Nov. 27, 2018 at 5:59 PM CST
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A Waco man was sentenced to prison Tuesday after he earlier pleaded guilty to tampering with a federal trial witness.

U.S. District Judge Alan D. Albright sentenced Desmond Wilkerson to serve 12 months plus one day in federal prison, followed by two years’ supervised release, and ordered him to pay a $500 fine and $100 in special assessment to the court.

Wilkerson will serve his time at the unit in Bastrop.

The court’s order dealt with counts one and two of the indictment naming Wilkerson, counts three, four and five were dismissed as part of the plea agreement.

Wilkerson, who also is known as “Mookie,” was co-defendant for Khalil Donzell Lowe, who pleaded guilty on July 10, and on Oct. 11, was sentenced to serve five years in federal prison, to be followed by three years on supervised release, ordered to pay a $500 fine and $100 in special assessment to the court.

The government’s initial sentence recommendation after Wilkerson’s pre-sentence study, pursuant to the plea agreement, was 12 months and a day.

The government’s case revolved around telephone communications between Lowe, who at the time was held in the Jack Harwell Detention Center pending an appearance in federal court where he was to be tried on a firearms charge, and Wilkerson, federal court records show.

The evidence of the conspiracy was based on inmates’ telephone conversations being recorded and monitored, a fact “disclosed to the inmates prior to accepting the call.”

The recorded evidence shows the conspiracy was intended “to determine if the potential trial witness planned to testify or appear at trial, to dissuade the potential trial witness from testifying or appearing at trial, and to corruptly endeavor to influence, obstruct and impede the potential witness from testifying or appearing at trial, in order to have Lowe’s pending case dismissed,” the indictment reads.

Count one of the indictment says seven times between April 25 and April 29, Lowe and Wilkerson talked about the plan to intimidate witnesses.

Count two enumerates instances between April 24 and April 29, when Lowe acted, through Wilkerson, to “cause or induce a person to withhold testimony, or withhold a record, document, or other object, from an official proceeding, to wit: a criminal trial styled United States of America v. Lowe.”

Counts three, four and five detail similar instances on different dates.