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Suspect pleads not guilty in fatal Central City shooting

This news story was published on September 22, 2012.
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Trish Mehaffey, CR Gazette –

A Central City man accused of shooting and killing a Cedar Rapids man last month pleaded not guilty Thursday, and his trial was set for Nov. 26 in Linn County District Court.

Martin Wilkinson, 63, is charged with first-degree murder and possession of a firearm by a felon. He is accused in the fatal shooting of Gregory O’Hare, 47, of Cedar Rapids, on Aug. 24. An Astra A-7 handgun found in his home was identified by police as the weapon used in the homicide, according to a criminal complaint.

According to an autopsy, O’Hare was shot at least eight times, including five shots that went into his back. He died of multiple gunshot wounds.

While being treated at Mercy Medical Center for injuries suffered prior to a standoff with police, Wilkinson made the statement “It just got out of hand,” according to a criminal complaint.

According to the search warrant, during a standoff and before coming out of his cabin, Wilkinson admitted to a police negotiator that he shot O’Hare. Witnesses who heard gunshots the day before discovered O’Hare’s body Aug. 24 in a rural area a short distance from Wilkinson’s home.

Police recovered 37 weapons, including various calibers and brands of shotguns, rifles, revolvers and pistols, and various ammunition for the weapons from his home, according to the search warrant.

Wilkinson remains in custody on bond at the Linn County Jail.

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