Cuyahoga County

Two killers get life sentences

James Alexander
Willie Wilson Jr.

Cleveland – A pair of killers who fatally shot a 19-year-old mother as she lay in bed with her two-year-old child have each been sentenced to life in prison, Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy J. McGinty announced.

A jury on February 12 convicted Willie Wilson Jr., 20, and James Alexander, 18, of Aggravated Murder, Murder, Attempted Murder, Aggravated Burglary, Felonious Assault and Kidnapping. Wilson was also found guilty by Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court Judge Peter J. Corrigan on one count of Having Weapons Under Disability.

Today, Judge Corrigan sentenced both men to spend life in prison. The judge ordered that they will first be eligible for parole after 56 years behind bars.

Evidence at trial proved that on April 14, 2015, Wilson and Alexander broke into an apartment on East 99th Street in Cleveland and shot a 17-year-old male victim who was asleep on the floor. They then went to the rear of the apartment and shot Miyazhane Vance while she was asleep in bed with her two-year-old child. Her one-year-old baby was in a crib next to the bed.

After the killers left, a third adult in the apartment, who was not hurt, called 911.

Ms. Vance was transported to MetroHealth Medical Center where she died from nine gunshot wounds. Her brother, the 17-year-old victim, was also taken to MetroHealth where he was treated for critical injuries and remained in the hospital and rehab for nearly two months. Neither of Ms. Vance’s children was injured.

“These defendants have absolutely no regard for human life,” said Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Anna Faraglia, who represented the State of Ohio along with Assistant Prosecuting Attorneys Brian Kraft and Kelly Mason. “They showed that by their actions on April 14 of last year and again today by the smiles on their faces during the sentencing hearing.”

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