Inmate Charged With Murder One In 2014 Shooting, Pleads To Manslaughter

A Wilmington Police Department (WPD) investigation led by the Criminal Investigations Division and the Cold Case Unit has resulted in a guilty plea in connection with a 2014 murder, officials said Monday.

Following a cold case breakthrough, Shaquille Briscoe, 26, has pleaded guilty to a 2014 homicide. He will be sentenced for Manslaughter and Possession of a Firearm During the Commission of a Felony, both Class B felonies. Briscoe’s plea deal comes almost six and a half years after 33-year-old Howard Watkins was fatally shot.

Responding to 911 calls on the last day of August 2014, police found Watkins suffering from gunshot wounds in the area of 27th and Tatnall Streets at around 2:00 in the morning.  He was transported to the hospital, where he later succumbed to his injuries.

“The arrest and guilty plea secured in connection with this murder investigation is a direct result of the hard work of the WPD Criminal Investigations Division and our Cold Case Unit,” said Wilmington Police Chief Robert J. Tracy. “On a daily basis, our investigators continue to work on cold cases like these, as they endeavor to deliver justice on behalf of crime victims, and to provide support and closure to their families and loved ones.”

In their announcement of his arrest in August 2019 officials said that Brisco was incarcerated and serving time for attempted murder in connection with a 2017 incident. In today’s announcement officials said that Brisco is currently incarcerated at Howard R. Young Correctional Institution for separate convictions for Assault Second Degree and Possession of a Firearm During the Commission of a Felony.

In that August 2019 announcement officials said Detective Joe Miller developed Briscoe as a suspect in the killing,  The investigation by Miller, along with members of the WPD Cold Case Unit,  including Cold Case Investigator Robert Partlow and ATF Special Agent Ronnie Hnat resulted in an indictment.

He was originally charged with Murder (First Degree), Possession of a Firearm During the Commission of a Felony (Two Counts). Reckless Endangering (First Degree) and Possession of a Firearm by a Person Prohibited.

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