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Published on June 16, 2024
Florida Man with Swastika Face Tattoos Convicted of First-Degree Murder in the Deaths of Two WomenSource: Lee County Sheriff’s Office
Wade Wilson without newer tattoos

On Wednesday, a man from Florida with distinct face tattoos including swastikas was convicted of the first-degree premeditated murders of two women. Wade Wilson, 30, faced his verdict without a change in expression, as he was found guilty of the devastating killings of Kristine Melton, 35, and Diane Ruiz, 43, both of whom suffered fatal attacks back in October 2019. According to The New York Post, it only took the jury two hours to agree on a decision which may lead to sentencing Wilson to the death penalty.

The details of the case are harrowing, with Wilson being accused of boasting to authorities about the murders three days following the incident. Coverage by WFLA included that his focus rapidly turned to satiating his appetite with a burger and fries while one of the women, Ruiz, lay unclaimed in a field, her face left to the elements and unrecognizable. Furthermore, prosecutors stated that Wilson would have targeted his ex-girlfriend as well had there not been too many bystanders present. Instead, he brutally attacked her, leaving her face bloodied.

Wilson's attorney, Lee Hollander, acknowledged the accused's involvement in the crimes but argued with the premeditation accusation. Hollander suggested that Wilson was severely impaired by drugs at the time of the murders. "We are not claiming that he didn’t do it,” Hollander said, advocating for a lesser charge of second-degree murder which would remove the possibility of the death penalty, based on his state of intoxication. In his plea to the jury, he expressed, "I’m not arguing insanity, I’m arguing the state is claiming premeditation, I’m arguing he’s whacked out of his mind for any this," as reported by WFLA.

However, prosecutors firmly held their ground. Sara Miller, serving as prosecutor on the case, emphasized the cruel and calculated nature of Wilson's actions. She revealed that Wilson showed pride in his deeds when speaking to law enforcement. Miller argued that consideration of lesser charges should be dismissed, as the state has demonstrated clear evidence of premeditation. "I’m arguing he’s whacked out of his mind for any of this,” Hollander had contested but Miller disagreed, asserting that the heinous nature of Wilson's offenses left no doubt about their deliberate character, as relayed by WFLA.

Tampa-Crime & Emergencies