Three Plead Guilty in Death of Officer Wilding

SCRANTON -- Three teens have pleaded guilty to third-degree murder in the death of Scranton Police Officer John Wilding.

Nasiir Jones, Isiah Edwards, and Tanner Curtis entered the pleas Thursday afternoon in Lackawanna County court.

In July of 2015, the three robbed a man at gunpoint in Scranton's west side.  They led police on a chase, crashed the stolen SUV they were in, and it was during a foot pursuit that Officer Wilding had a fatal fall.

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Officer Wilding suffered a traumatic brain injury and later died.

Prosecutors believe the officer died as a result of the teens' alleged crime.

As a part of this plea deal, the district attorney's office and defense attorneys have agreed that each teen should serve nine to 18 years in prison for Wilding's death.

After hearing emotional testimony from Wilding's wife, mother, and sister, the judge approved that agreed-upon sentence for Jones, Edwards, and Curtis.

"If things went differently, and John had been the arresting officer on the robbery charge, he would have been an advocate for them to have the ability to change. Nothing, no sentence that the court or anyone could impose could have ultimate justice and bring John back, but we feel this was the best available choice so not to have to put the family through a trial," said Scranton Police Chief Carl Graziano.

"They got to hear these three men admit their involvement, that stole John from them. You heard their anguish, you heard about the wonderful man that he was, the wonderful police officer that he was, and truly, heard about the legacy that he leaves behind," Lackawanna County District Attorney Shane Scanlon said.

Nasiir Jones, Isiah Edwards, and Tanner Curtis started serving their sentences immediately, though the judge did allow them credit for the time they've already served since their arrest in 2015.

39 comments

  • chevellesss7

    Using a Bureau of Justice Statistic study finding inmates released from state prisons have a five-year recidivism rate of 76.6%, the USSC study calculated comparable federal prisoners released have a 44.7% re-arrest rate after five years.

  • chevellesss7

    I think it’s an insane abuse of power. They didn’t kill him. Nor could they have foreseen his death. People get charges with depraved indifference (thank you Law and Order) when their actions are so negligent that they could have known a death might occur. This is not that. Crazy
    None of them actually caused his death! Running away is not causing a death! Had one of them fired a gun that killed someone even inadvertently, yes, had they driven off in the SUV and hit him or someone else, Yes, him jumping to his own death, so ridiculous already! No way a Jury of 12 would have convicted! It only takes one, they got terrible legal advice because people wanted REVENGE! Whatever they were, or are, hoodlums, etc, taking their lives away like this for that reason is insane and will only serve to send them into a broken system that fosters more abuse and for them to come out in 18 years with no life, no job, no prospects a record for life that prevents them from any real jobs, for anything but more crime! If the judge wanted to change them he should have sent them to the military! Mantatory 6 years, something that could change their lives and the path they have chosen! This just furthers that path!

    • Irish-7

      The military does NOT want them! Our Armed Forces are honorable people. Why clutter their ranks and endanger service members for the sake of giving these scoundrels a second chance? With the potential of serving ONLY 9 years, I think these “dregs of society” are getting off easy. The life of Officer Wilding should be worth more than that!

  • Esquire

    You also assumed all 3 of the convicted are black. I’m pretty sure the last one is not. Can’t you see past his jailhouse braids?

    • pot smoker

      Racism ? against armed robbery, grand theft auto , felony evasion and manslaughter as a gang of hoodlums , Your a bloomin Idiot , these are human dung and we can only hope the other charges add much more than 9-18 years as they aren’t fit for society nor will they ever be . Hatred for thugs is not racism .

  • Be Realistic

    Let me ask you this…what if YOU were speeding. Yeah, you’re “breaking the law”. The cop negligently pulls out onto I81 to give you a ticket, and a tractor-trailer hits the officer and he dies. Are you guilty of MURDER? He never would have pulled out into traffic if you were not speeding. Should you get 9-18 years? Or what if your daughter was running away from a illegal high school underage drinking party. A cop trips running after her in a Scranton pot hole and breaks his neck. Is she guilty of MURDER?
    Here’s the difference. These 3 black kids look like thugs. And in “Trump’s America”, all minorities are considered 2nd class citizens who don’t deserve the same benefit of a doubt as white kids. Complain. Whine. Give a thumbs down. You know it’s true. You just don’t care. You live in your white bubbles and pretend only minorities commit crimes. You think all cops do no wrong. Enjoy living in your alternative universe…

    • Esquire

      Did you just assume that I was white because I referenced the law???? How’s that for hypocrisy on your part. I’m not, and the” bubble” I live in is extremely diverse. I’m also very aware of the fact that not all police officers serve with integrity, but this officer was attempting to apprehend thieves… AND speeding and underage drinking are not felonies!!! Read carefully before posting counter arguments that hold no merit. You seem to have strong emotions and a weak mind. Get well.

    • pot smoker

      Idiot, 3 thugs (armed robbery, stolen car , felony evasion etc manslaughter of a good man ) 9- 18 years isnt enough for lowlife pieces of dung like this for the list of crimes in only one day of their lives .

    • Common Sense

      Here’s the facts: 1. You don’t have a clue. 2. They were committing an armed robbery, that’s why they were charged with the murder. If they were running from a beer party or something other than a violent felony, they would not have been charged. The law is clear about when someone dies in the commission of a felony. 3. You might want to get your facts straight before you open your mouth and show everyone how ignorant you are. 4. Get your eyes checked too, one of these idiots is white.

  • Anywhere but there

    Why is he allowed to have rubber bands? Rubber bands can be used to castrate sheep. Suggestions?!?

  • chevellesss7

    While it is terrible that this officer died, and these young adults are obviously on the wrong road and did wrong, they should not have to serve a 9-18 years sentence because the officer dove over a bush and hit his head! I sympathize with the family, but people who say hang them and they deserve it or worse, are ridiculous! Putting on a badge shouldn’t increase your value over everyday Americans nor should it give you some superstatus that alows you to be judge and jury! This is why we have division in America! This is why we have BLM in America! It’s White and Blue privilege that prevails over everyone else! They were wrong, yes, they were hoodlums, yes, but they did not kill this officer, jumping without looking did!
    If you want to argue this point, explain to me how 3 youths do possibly 20 years for this and yet 6 cops broke Freddy grey’s neck, severed his spinal cord over 80% and they walked away and went home without any repercussions at all! A little hypocritical isn’t it? Especially since Freddy Grey, a black youth, was simply walking through an alley, did nothing wrong or illegal and just turned the other direction when he saw the police and they hunted him down and beat him to death! No drugs, no weapons, no reason! THIS IS WHITE AND BLUE-LINE PRIVILEGE IN AMERICA!
    THIS IS WHAT IS WRONG IN AMERICA!

    All of our area’s finest racists and right winger Trump supporters can start in now SMDH!

    • Me

      How about don’t break the law and get a job and stop living off of the system. . . Sick of these punks getting away with everything. .. throw their lazy asses in jail..

      • chevellesss7

        Who’s “living off the system”??? What the hell does that even have to do with anything besides your racist sad view of anyone of color? As for “These Punks” getting away with anything, we have a system of justice in this country where you’re innocent 1st and have to be proven guilty. If you don’t like that, move to Russia
        .

    • Esquire

      Motor vehicle theft is a felony. A death that occurs during the commission of a felony is considered murder. 9-18 years seems like fairly light sentence for car theft and murder.

    • Lance

      You have alot of hate. It doesnt matter what the skin color is. If you break the law you are liable for all that happens while committing the crime. That is the law. Plus one of those kids is white. And he got the same as the other two. Put you rage in check. Because no one forced these kids into committing the crime. They did it all by themselves.

    • Common Sense

      You are clueless and you are ignorant. I’ll type this slow, so you can understand it. The law in this and every other state DOES protect law enforcement officers from assaults and murder while in the line of duty. It has always been a law. These morons committed a violent felony and the law says that if someone/ANYONE dies because of it they are to be charged with murder. They acknowledged that they were guilty and understood why, so why are you having such a hard time?? DO you get it now? or do I need to explain it further, snowflake?

    • Abenny

      The difference in your statement is Speeding is not a felony. They where charged M3 because during the chase they where in the act of a felony. Second scenario too Runing away from a drinking party is not a felony.

  • 80 years old and thank GOD.

    Did not see that one coming. Hope they loose the wor Probation. Jail is where they belong.

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