The Associated Press reports that an ex-convict has been convicted in the fatal shooting of a Tennessee police officer. A jury found Tremaine Wilbourn guilty of first-degree murder on Sunday in Memphis for the August 2015 murder of Officer Sean Bolton. He was also convicted of weapons charges and carjacking.
Bolton was a white officer and one of four who were fatally shot in Memphis since July 2011. Wilbourn is black, causing speculation that the crime was rooted in racist motives.
On the day of the shooting, Bolton interrupted a drug deal that Wilbourn was taking part in inside his vehicle. Wilbourn exited the vehicle and began scuffling with the officer before taking out a gun and shooting Bolton eight times.
During his federal trial, testimony was given that Wilbourn carjacked a vehicle just minutes after the shooting and told the driver that “he needed the car because he had just shot a police officer.” He has already been sentenced to a 25 year sentence for federal weapons charges.
Defense attorneys argued during the trial that Wilbourn didn’t mean to kill Bolton. After a two-day manhunt, Wilbourn finally turned himself in to U.S. Marshals.
Wilbourn had been on probation at the time of the shooting after serving federal prison time for armed bank robbery.
*Photo credit The Associated Press