Nov 10, 2015 5:55 PM
2 men sentenced to at least 30 years in Madbury teen's murder
DOVER - Two men who pleaded guilty were sentenced Tuesday for their role in the vicious murder of a Madbury teen last summer.
Zachary Pinette, 20, and Michael Tatum, 22, were both sentenced to a minimum of 30 years prison.
Both men were charged with second-degree murder, conspiracy to commit robbery and falsifying physical evidence in the killing of 18-year-old Aaron Wilkinson.
Pinette and Tatum accepted plea deals to testify against Tristan Wolusky, a third accomplice in Wilkinson's killing.
“Both Mr. Pinette and Mr. Tatum abided by the terms of their agreement – they testified, they cooperated," said Asst. Attorney General Peter Hinckley. "They accepted responsibility, which are things that Mr. Wolusky never has done in this case.”
Wolusky, who had pleaded not guilty, was convicted by a jury on all charges including first-degree murder in October.
Tatum decided not to address the victim's family directly, but Pinette read a brief statement before he was sentenced.
"I am so sorry for all the pain I have caused," Pinette said. "I’ve killed a human being. I’ve taken a son from his parents. I’ve taken an 18-year-old from his family and friends. I’ll never forgive what I have done, and I’m sorry.”
Pinette also said he deserved to be punished for his actions, and wanted to do the time in prison.
Wilkinson's mother, Paula, spoke on how her son's tragic death had impacted her life.
“Aaron’s family and friends have been scarred forever," Paula Wilkinson said. "Personally, I feel numb and paralyzed by grief. I have panic attacks, nightmares, and I cannot sleep through the night. I have lost my faith and trust in mankind.”
Several of Wilkinson's cousins also spoke up before Pinette and Tatum were sentenced.
“All of us have been robbed of so much because of the senseless actions that took place that night," said Wilkinson's cousin Elizabeth Alley. "No one should ever have to get the phone call our family received that morning, and it shows that we really do take people for granted.”
Prosecutors argued that the trio, armed with knives and a machete, went to Wilkinson's home to rob him on June 21, 2014 - but ended up killing him.
Wilkinson's body, covered in stab wounds, was later found off the side of a road in Maine.
Wolusky is scheduled to be sentenced in December.