Prosecutors in Berks County will seek the death penalty for two brothers accused of killing a Palmer Township man and two other people, including a woman whose body was dumped in Salisbury Township.
Maurice and Michael Wilkins were charged earlier this year with murder in the deaths of Palmer native Dario McLemore and Berks County resident Rafael Alequin and in the torture/killing of Jennifer Velez-Negron, whose burned body was found dumped in Salisbury Township.
Assistant Berks County District Attorney Dennis J. Skayhan told the Reading Eagle the death penalty was warranted because the victims were witnesses and because Velez-Negron was tortured.
Salisbury police had discovered Velez-Negron's body after a passing motorist reported a small fire on the side of Chestnut Hill Road the morning of Dec. 27. An autopsy revealed Velez-Negron died from suffocation and was set on fire.
Valez-Negron, 26, formerly of Reading, had been living with a friend in Salisbury, prompting investigators to seek the public's help identifying her. They issued a description, including the detail that she bore a tattoo on the right side of her neck that said "Javi."
Prosecutors say Velez-Negron was said to have witnessed those Dec. 4
killings and to have been involved in a drug transaction that led to the
The Wilkins brothers are charged with three counts of murder of the first degree, three counts of murder of the third degree, criminal conspiracy, aggravated assault, kidnapping and other charges.