The Suspect ID’d in the Killing of a Memphis Police Officer is on Supervised Release After Serving Time for Bank Robbery

by Cassy Fiano | August 3, 2015 8:45 am

Are criminals ever really rehabilitated? That’s a question that could be asked after a man who previously served time for robbing a bank shot and killed a Memphis police officer in cold blood.

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Tremaine Wilbourn, 29, faces a first-degree murder charge in the death of Officer Sean Bolton, 33, on Saturday night, Memphis Police Director Toney Armstrong said at a news conference.

Wilbourn is on supervised release after serving a federal sentence for robbery of a banking institution, Armstrong added. The individual earlier identified as a person of interest was released by police and not charged.

Armstrong said Wilbourn was a passenger in a 2002 Mercedes Benz that was parked illegally in a southeast Memphis neighborhood on Saturday night. Armstrong said Bolton saw the car and shined his squad car’s spotlight on the vehicle.

Bolton then got out of his car and walked toward the Mercedes, Armstrong said. Wilbourn got out of the Mercedes, confronted Bolton, and they got into a physical struggle, Armstrong said.

Wilbourn then took out a gun and fired it, striking Bolton multiple times, Armstrong said. Wilbourn and the driver then ran away, Armstrong said. The officer died at a hospital.

The driver later turned himself in to police, and police described him as a person of interest in the case before he was released without being charged.

Armstrong said Bolton interrupted a drug deal in progress. Officers found about 1.7 grams of marijuana inside the car, which likely would have just resulted in a misdemeanor citation and a fine for Wilbourn, Armstrong said.

“He’s a coward,” Armstrong said of Wilbourn. “You gunned down, you murdered a police officer, for less than 2 grams of marijuana. You literally destroyed a family.”

This is a clear case of a person who should never be allowed to walk the streets as a free man again. The question is, should he have been walking the streets to begin with?

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