Andalusia man charged with murder of pregnant soldier on military base in 2001

Published 2:45 pm Friday, February 24, 2023

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An Andalusia man was arrested Thursday for a murder that occurred 21 years ago.

Shannon L. Wilkerson, 42, was arrested in the Northern District of Florida on criminal charges related to a murder on a U.S. Army base in Germany.

According to court documents, Wilkerson is allegedly responsible for the death of Amanda Gonzales on Nov. 3, 2001. The murder occurred at Fliegerhorst Kaserne, then a U.S. Army base in Hanau, Germany. Wilkerson was a member of the Armed Forces at the time of the alleged offense but was later discharged from the Army.

Gonzalez was found dead on Nov. 5, 2001, in her third-floor barracks room after she failed to report for work, and her cause of death was ruled a homicide by asphyxiation, according to the FBI, which is investigating the case. She was 19-years old and four-months pregnant at the time of the murder.

Wilkerson was 21 at the time. He was discharged from the Army in 2004.

Wilkerson is charged under the Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act, which gives the U.S. federal courts jurisdiction over crimes committed outside the United States by, among others, former members of the Armed Forces who are no longer subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

Wilkerson is charged with one count of first-degree murder. If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of life in prison. He pleaded not guilty at a hearing Thursday, according to a court filing. A trial date is set for March 27 in Pensacola.

At one time, Wilkerson operated Cardio Zone in Andalusia, a gym inside of the Covington Mall that opened in 2015. He was also involved as a track manager at the Emerald Coast Dragway in Holt, Florida at one time.

Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Jason R. Coody for the Northern District of Florida, Assistant Director in Charge Michael J. Driscoll of the FBI New York Field Office, and Special Agent in Charge Lisa Yockel of the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Division’s Europe Field Office made the announcement.

The FBI Jacksonville Field Office, the Air Force’s Office of Special Investigations, and Army’s Criminal Investigative Division, which originally investigated the case, provided valuable assistance with the arrest.

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.