PHILADELPHIA — A Philadelphia judge says prosecutors can seek the death penalty against two brothers charged with fatally shooting a police officer in the city two years ago.

Judge Kathryn Streeter Lewis ruled last week that prosecutors can pursue capital punishment for suspects Carlton Hipps and Ramone Williams, who are accused of killing Sgt. Robert Wilson III during an attempted robbery of a video game store.

The judge struck down a motion made by defense attorneys that said the death penalty was unconstitutional. Lawyers for the two men were not immediately available for comment.

Police say the suspects opened fired on Wilson in March 2015 as the officer stood inside a video game store waiting to purchase a gift for his son.

A trial is scheduled for April 2018.

Author photo
The AP is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, as a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members, it can maintain its single-minded focus on newsgathering and its commitment to the highest standards of objective, accurate journalism.