Cold case breakthrough – Wilmington man pleads guilty to 2014 homicide

WILMINGTON, DELAWARE – Following a cold case breakthrough, a Wilmington man has pleaded guilty to a 2014 homicide. Shaquille Briscoe, 26, will be sentenced for Manslaughter and Possession of a Firearm During the Commission of a Felony, both Class B felonies.

“Our role is to secure justice for victims of crime, their loved ones, and their communities,” said Attorney General Jennings. “We can’t bring Howard Watkins back or undo the tragedy that his family has suffered, but after six long years we can finally say that his killer has been brought to justice. All of us – from Wilmington Police Department, to the prosecutors and staff at the DOJ, to the community we all serve – are holding the Watkinses in our hearts and wish them peace as they continue to heal.”

“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.”

On August 31, 2014, at approximately 2 a.m., Wilmington Police were dispatched to 27th and Tatnall Streets in response to calls about a shooting. Upon arrival, officers located Howard Watkins, 33, suffering from gunshot wounds. He was transported to Christiana Hospital, where he later died.

Briscoe 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.

Deputy Attorney General Joseph Grubb secured Briscoe’s guilty plea with the support and assistance of paralegal Stacey Coupe. The investigation was led by Wilmington Police Department’s Criminal Investigations Division and Cold Case Unit.