Father pleads not guilty to reckless homicide of 3-year-old son

Cortez Wilkerson and his son Kash Sharp (Source: Family)
Cortez Wilkerson and his son Kash Sharp (Source: Family)

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - A father pleaded not guilty Monday to the reckless homicide of his only son.

The physical evidence at the apartment where a 3-year-old boy allegedly accidentally shot and killed himself does not match the story the father told Memphis Police Department, according to Memphis Police Department.

Cortez Wilkerson, 26, the father of the 3-year-old, was arrested and charged with reckless homicide and drug-related charges.

Police said Wilkerson told MPD that he woke up to the sound of a gunshot, and when he opened his eyes, the 3-year-old, Kash Sharp, was sitting in his lap with a gunshot wound to the head. Officers said when they arrived on the scene Wilkerson was applying pressure to his son's wound near the stairs of the apartment.

"It is of no matter to me what a police officer thinks," Leslie Ballin, Wilkerson's attorney, said. "They are there to investigate cases and report facts, their opinions are not evidence."

Investigators determined that Wilkerson's account of the incident did not match the physical evidence on the scene.

Wilkerson told officers on the scene that Sharp found the gun and shot himself.

Police said they also found more than 19 grams of marijuana as well as two scales and plastic baggies at the residence.

Wilkerson is charged with reckless homicide, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell, and possession of a firearm in a dangerous felony. His bond was set at $100,000.

Family members don't believe the father is responsible and said it was a tragic accident. Wilkerson's brother said the father would never hurt his son.

"Never, never. He loved him," Antonio Fagain, uncle of victim, said. "I understand that the gun, that he might have to face a little consequence. But I just don't want them to try to make it like he was a murderer, like he just killed his son. I wouldn't be talking to you right now if he killed his son."

Now, the family is wanting Wilkerson to be able to attend his son's funeral. They are working on getting him released on a $100,000 bond.

"We want to make it so he can attend the funeral of his son," Ballin said.

"Hoping that he can get out at least be able to join the funeral, at least because they're trying to pin it on him," Fagain said.

Wilkerson has one prior drug charge in 2011.

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