Office of Public Affairs | Man Convicted in Cold Case Murder on Military Base in Germany

A federal jury in Pensacola, Florida, convicted a former U.S. Army soldier yesterday for the murder of a pregnant, 19-year-old fellow soldier on a U.S. Army base in Germany more than 22 years ago. 

According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, on Nov. 3, 2001, Shannon L. Wilkerson, 43, beat and strangled Amanda Gonzales to death in her barracks room at Fliegerhorst Kaserne, then a U.S. Army base in Hanau, Germany. Wilkerson was a member of the U.S. Armed Forces at the time of the offense but was later discharged.

“The defendant violently beat and murdered Amanda Gonzales—a fellow soldier who was pregnant at the time—at a U.S. Army base in Germany in 2001,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Nicole M. Argentieri, head of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. “His conviction yesterday, more than two decades later, is a testament to the Justice Department’s unrelenting pursuit of justice. Many dedicated law enforcement officers and prosecutors persisted for years, pursuing every available lead and never wavering in their search for evidence to hold the victim’s killer to account for his heinous crime.”

“The murder of Amanda Gonzales and her unborn child was a horrific act of violence,” said U.S. Attorney Jason R. Coody for the Northern District of Florida. “This decades-long investigation and resulting prosecution demonstrate the unwavering resolve of our law enforcement partners and their commitment to use every tool available to protect Americans, especially those serving our country.”    

“Twenty-two years ago, Shannon Wilkerson brutally murdered Amanda Gonzales, who he believed was pregnant with his child,” said Executive Assistant Director Timothy R. Langan Jr. of the FBI’s Criminal, Cyber, Response, and Services Branch. “Yesterday’s conviction is a testament to our unwavering commitment of pursuing justice for victims of violent crime. Through the collaboration of law enforcement, the FBI and our partners will continue to seek justice for victims, no matter how long it takes.”

The jury convicted Wilkerson of second-degree murder. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Aug. 8 and faces a maximum penalty of life in prison. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

The FBI New York Field Office investigated this case, with assistance from the Department of Army’s Criminal Investigative Division, which originally investigated the case.

Trial Attorney Patrick Jasperse of the Criminal Division’s Human Rights and Special Prosecutions Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney David L. Goldberg for the Northern District of Florida are prosecuting the case.

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