CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — A man accused of shooting and killing a woman in February entered a Kennedy plea on Thursday, according to the Kanawha County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office
Peris Fallins, 36, of Charleston, entered the plea – which allows the suspect to not admit guilt, while also knowing there is enough evidence to convict them – in connection to the shooting death of Julia Wickline, 40, who was shot to death on the front porch of her Grant Street home on Feb. 19, 2023.
Fallins had previously pleaded not guilty. A grand jury indicted Fallins on Aug. 3 on charges of first-degree murder, use or presentment of a firearm during the commission of a felony, prohibited person in possession of a firearm, and wanton endangerment.
The Charleston Police Department said the shooting happened at around 3:05 p.m. Officers arrived and found Wickline with a gunshot wound. According to police, she was seen sitting on the porch talking on the phone. A man, identified as Fallins, approached her and “exchanged words,” authorities said.
Police said that moments later, the man approached the victim and shot her multiple times. He then allegedly fled on foot in the north direction of Russel Street.
Wickline was in long-term recovery from opioids but became a certified recovery coach and suicide hotline counselor, and in her career helped save countless lives of others who suffered from substance use disorder.
“She was the sweetest, most loving, carefree, wild. She was very, very blunt. But Julia was great,” said Cricket Burdette, Julia’s recovery mate.
“You know to hear her passing. You know it was heartbreaking, you know what I mean. She was a very beautiful soul, you know what I mean. You know wanted recovery bad,” said Shanique “Shaq” Rice, Julia’s recovery mate.