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Man faces eight charges in assault, shooting

Published 7:25pm Thursday, April 4, 2013

A Clanton apartment was the scene of an assault and a shooting against two different victims this week.

Cornelius Wilkes, 20, of Clanton was arrested Monday night and charged with attempted murder, two counts of first-degree assault, two counts of attempted first-degree assault, discharging a firearm into an occupied dwelling and two counts of reckless endangerment after two incidents at his apartment less than one hour apart, Clanton Police Department Sgt. Cameron Bates said.

Wilkes allegedly beat a man unconscious about 8 p.m. on April 1 after a heated conversation among acquaintances in Wilkes’ residence at Trilliam Apartments off Highway 31 in south Clanton.

The victim was transported to UAB Hospital, Bates said.

About 30 minutes later, before law enforcement officers had even responded to Wilkes’ residence following the assault, the suspect committed another violent crime.

Wilkes allegedly shot his roommate twice as the roommate entered the residence, Bates said.

One of the bullets exited the victim, traveled through a wall separating Wilkes’ apartment from an adjoining apartment and headboard next door, where it flew over an unsuspecting man sleeping in the bed.

The shot, which came from a .380-caliber handgun, entering the apartment next door led to the charges of reckless endangerment and discharging a firearm into an occupied dwelling, Bates said. Also, a relative of the shooting victim was present at the scene, leading to the other charge of reckless endangerment.

Wilkes has told authorities that he fired shots because he feared the person entering his apartment was the victim of the beating returning to reciprocate. Others close to the situation have disputed that claim, Bates said.

Wilkes is being held in Chilton County Jail with bonds totaling $111,500.

Bates said 15-20 residents of the apartment complex attended a meeting Wednesday where Clanton Police detailed the situation.

“We assured them that this is an isolated incident,” Bates said. “I believe everyone there is satisfied with the results.”

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