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Mother, Father Dead after Apparent Murder-Suicide

BANKS TOWNSHIP — A domestic dispute in Carbon County led to an apparent murder-suicide late Friday night.

State police said Denise and William Wilkinson, both 44, were found in a home on East Main Street in Junedale.

Troopers say they were sent to the home shortly before 11 p.m. Friday for a report of a domestic disturbance. When they arrived, they found Denise Wilkinson shot to death.

They also found William Wilkinson with what troopers said was a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Friends said the couple loved riding motorcycles and seemed to be devoted parents to their young daughter.

The day following the deaths, people in Junedale and nearby Tresckow struggled to comprehend what had happen to a couple who appeared to be friendly and involved in the community.

Mary Pasquale attended the couple’s wedding.

“Every year around Labor Day they would have a huge birthday party for their daughter, invite about 100 people. We would go down. They were very nice people. They are both going to be missed very much, they really are,” Pasquale said.

The Wilkinsons gave Erin Ballick her first babysitting job, caring for their daughter, Stevie Lynn.  Ballick said she was especially upset when she heard that the girl was in the home at the time of the killings.

“The fact that she doesn’t have parents anymore is really upsetting, and I am just hoping she is going to be all right,” Ballick said.

Court records show Wilkinson did have a criminal record.

He was charged with aggravated assault and several other counts back in 2012.

He pleaded guilty to a single charge of recklessly endangering a person and paid a fine.

39 comments

  • marg

    i was told Dee brought the gun and her kid back to the house and told the daughter something bad is going to happen and stay in the room and call 911 . why would you do that knowing the situation in violent to begin with. esp bring her daughter there cmon

  • JP

    This poor little girl, losing both of her parents. Whether they were good parents or bad parents, I am sure she will cry for them either way. I hope there is a family member who can take her in and help her through this time and grow. I am pro-gun, but this is not the place. Thoughts to the family.

  • Hunter

    If someone wants to kill another they will find a way. Using a gun, a knife or their fists. All this talk about guns when you guys should be talking about how this poor child will be forever be effected by the killing of her mother by her obviously unstable father.

    • Warlock

      Right, because guns just make it so much harder to kill.

      Oh, wait. No they don’t. They’re kinda designed for that specific purpose.

      • wtf

        more people are killed by cars than guns. We charge the driver not, the car dealer. You can’t blame objects for what people do with them.

      • Warlock

        @ WTF

        THAT’S your rebuttal? Who’s talking about charging the dealer? People in accidents often go after a negligent MANUFACTURER (and WIN) but I’m not sure what your point is.

        Cars are designed to keep people safe. Guns are designed to destroy. If you really don’t appreciate the difference, I hope you’re neither a gun owner nor a driver.

      • wtf

        @ warlock, it’s a fact. It’s beyond you I know. Your blaming a gun for the act of a man. If he didn’t have a gun he would have used something else. Sad you can’t grasp the connection but, not surprising.

      • Warlock

        @WTF

        The fact is that he used a gun. He could have killed her with a baseball bat or a car or his bare hands but he chose to use a gun because *NEWSFLASH* that’s what guns are for! Guns make it easy for abusive cowards to take lives because they don’t want to get messy.

        Don’t aim your vitriol at me. Aim it at an industry unlike any other that fights tooth and nail to get its product into the hands of anyone who can wield it, regardless of the consequences.

      • wtf

        @ warlock, you’re misguided and just want to argue for the sake of hearing yourself talk. You can twist facts anyway you like but, it won’t change reality. Human beings are violent creatures and if you take away one weapon they will simply move on to using another.

      • Joseph P Smith

        I think we should all turn in all of our guns. Personally, I wish guns were never invented, and I want to see every single gun “banned”, accordingly. You’ll see me in the line turning in my few guns, RIGHT BEHIND THE COPS AND THE MILITARY (who’ve been known to misuse a gun once in a while). What’s wrong, can’t do that? I didn’t think so; I’ll see all you hypocritical “gun nuts” at the gun shop.

      • Warlock

        @WTF

        You’re projecting. I’m not twisting facts. I’m stating facts. The guy killed his wife with a gun. Period.

        You’re the one fantasizing that he could have killed her some other way. But he didn’t. The FACT is he used a gun because guns are designed to destroy. No reasonable person would argue otherwise.

      • ProGun AND ProGunControl!

        @ WTF & WARLOCK

        GIRLS!! girls! Your both pretty! LOL but seriously WTF guns are for killing and everybody knows that so i dont knwo what your arguing about

  • Joseph P Smith

    Being that the cause and manner of death are known, and being that there’s nobody to prosecute, why not let the dead rest in peace and save the taxpayers some money? Why does the coroner abuse his discretion by ordering pointless autopsies that are clearly not in the public interest?

  • ME

    This is a horrible situation and I feel for that little girl who now has no parents. It’s never good to be too rigid in relationships.

  • Warlock

    “…a gun kept in the home was 43 times more likely to be involved in the death of a member of the household than to be used in self-defense.” ~ Art Kellermann, January 2013

    I guess we can just add this to that statistic.

    • Lori

      Sure let us blame an inanimate object once again. Couldn’t possibly be the man’s mental unsuitability or some kind of trigger. Lets always jump to “Well if the gun wasn’t in the house…” No. Just no. He would have found another way to hurt her and himself with or without that gun. Get your gun control bs out of here.

      • Joe Schmoe

        Lori, don’t pay any attention to Warlock. He’s a 15 year old stoned hippy liberal who hacks into his parents computer and makes idiotic comments over and over.

      • Warlock

        I understand your fear. I’m sure there’s at least one firearm in your home. And given the way you lash out at strangers online, I’d be concerned about anyone living in your household as well.

        Statistically speaking, of course.

        But hey, pay no attention to the guy with the facts.

    • Joseph P Smith

      I may have the solution to this problem. Suppose we make every person a cop? This way, there’d be no such thing as an “unjustified” shooting. Could that work for you?

    • Lori

      First off, If you look at the story on WFMZ, it states the man has a long history of violence. Read that article and you’ll find that nothing would have stopped this man from harming his wife. He was obviously mentally unstable and should have been in jail for his previous assaults. If we actually took the steps needed to add prevention to these kinds of crimes, like helping our mental health system in this country or having reasonable sentencing in our courts, this women may still be alive today. So, you can argue these horribly stated “facts” of yours all you want (which I’m sure have not been researched properly as with most “statistics” nowadays) but that doesn’t make them right.

      Secondly, You don’t know me. You know NOTHING about me to possibly make an accurate assessment about me. Sure, my husband and I own several different guns. However, they are all locked up securely and the ammo kept in a separate room with the exception of the pistol I carry along with my husband’s own pistol. We treat our weapons with respect and handle them as if they were loaded, if even they aren’t. That is called being a responsible gun owner. Oh, and did I mention my husband and I have been shooting guns for close to 20 years without incident. I can assure you that his is alive and well along with my all of my children, thank you.

      So no, you are not a man with “facts” and no I will not listen to a man whose nothing but misinformed moron who calls himself ‘Warlock’ and posts ill informed statements on a local news website.

      • Warlock

        Thanks for validating my post, Lori.

        Best of luck to you and yours living in such a stable, paranoia-free environment.

      • MWM

        Write a mag and I will be your first subscriber! My eyes were rolling at the comment in the article that “they were nice people,” nice people don’t shoot their wife, mother of their child, and then himself. That’s not nice! But, like the warman said, and once in awhile he surprises me, this little girl is probably better off without parents like this. I hope someone responsible and loving will be looking after he now.

    • Dioji

      What are you so afraid of in your paranoid hysteria? This man was clearly unstable & they were in a toxic relationship, why they were with each other in the same home is idiocy! It truly is fact that if guns did NOT exist; he would have used something else to complete his mentally unstable task. You can fear gun owners & pro-gun activists, but we here in the US have unalienable rights, one is the right of the PEOPLE to bear arms – shall not be infringed (means that nobody can take away this right not the government, or any fear mongering gun haters. Nobody has to give up a right just because it makes another uncomfortable.) But the fact that this man had charges & past violent crimes (assault), he also had a history of violence with his wife as well, he shouldn’t have had a gun. So he probably had it illegally, but instead of making sure those who should not have them, and can’t legally required by current law. Let’s make it harder for people who truly do have them for absolute self defense or hunting etc. To have them & carry them even though it’s their right, as it is yours to free speech & stupidity. You can spew your ‘facts’ all you want, but are you afraid of the things that statistically kill more people than guns? Like the corrupt medical industry? Vehicles? Deer? Police? Poison gmo food? Poisonous environment? Bombs, missiles, and all the crazy things that the military around the world & governments have access to? What about the fact that it’s well known that whatever technology we have publicly, the government is at least 30 yrs ahead? You do realize the simple fact that LED lighting was around in the 60’s & is just now becoming publicly known recently.. Yeah many things can kill us, including a huge number of things that puts our lives in others hands (besides guns), but all you folks cry about guns all the time fearing something that most likely will never effect you. But you don’t fear many of the everyday life killers that do directly effect you! Yeah that makes sense! BTW this is about a sick messed up guy who had a toxic relationship, & a little girl who is going to live with this & no parents & possibly no love for the rest of her life. She will forever feel like an outcast and ashamed that she came from this situation, & people will always be talking behind her back whispering & a bunch of other crap. This has nothing to do with anti gun or pro gun discussion at all!

  • Jeb

    Another stellar job of reporting, WNEP! Complete with bad grammar and riddled with mistakes! Woo hoo!

  • Bobby Lynn

    Did you guys do any research on this story at all? You know she filed for divorce because he assaulted her several times and had threatened to kill her. Several people including her lawyer begged Dee to take out a PFA. This was way more than “working out their problems.”

  • e

    This is a terrible, terrible tragedy. They were both very nice people. A permanent solution to a short term problem.

  • Garben

    I am willing to bet they died from gun shot wounds correct? Autopsy complete. However they died it wasn’t the guns fault because it can’t pull it’s own trigger

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