Tremaine Wilbourn sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole

WATCH: Tremaine Wilbourn sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole

The jury reached a verdict and court reconvened, but the jury form was not filled out correctly. The judge sent the jurors back to complete the paperwork.


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After a short recess, the jury returned to the courtroom and the verdict was read.

Tremaine Wilbourn was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Wilbourn was convicted of First-Degree Murder, among other charges, in the August 2015 shooting death of MPD Officer Sean Bolton.

Shortly after court was adjourned Tuesday, the family of Bolton released a statement regarding the trial and sentencing:

"We would like to thank the men and women of the jury, Judge Coffee, officers of the court and the Shelby County District Attorney's Office. We would also like to thank the men and women of law enforcement in Shelby County who work so diligently to serve and protect. We see the sacrifices you and your families make to keep our community safe. Nothing can bring Sean back to us but we take comfort in the fact that his murderer can never cause harm to anyone else in our community."

During sentencing hearings on Tuesday, things turned heated

A member of the prosecution moved towards Tremaine Wilbourn and declared to the courtroom, "Look at the face of the coward."

Wilbourn confused by what was happening exchanged words with her.

At one point, he called her a racist.

Judge Coffee told Wilbourn that he did not have to have to stay in courtroom and the man convicted of First-Degree murder chose to leave.

As he walked out, he again called her a racist.

WATCH THE EXCHANGE HERE:  (Warning Explicit Language)


During Monday's hearing, Tremaine Wilbourn asked the judge to forgo the hearing and to be sentenced.

Judge Coffee told Wilbourn that is within his rights, however, it is not something that he recommended the convicted murderer do.


Sunday afternoon the jury found Tremaine Wilbourn murder trial came back with a unanimous guilty verdict.

After four days of testimony and just two hours of deliberation Sunday, the jury found Wilbourn guilty of 1st-degree murder, carjacking, possession of a firearm in the commission of a dangerous offense and felon in possession of a firearm.

Wilbourn was without emotion as the verdict was read.

Then a bombshell of sorts as Wilbourn accepted a state proposed a sentencing deal, accepting life in prison without the possibility of parole.

But in a turn, the family of Officer Sean Bolton rejected that proposal.

Later after the sentencing hearing began is when Officer Sean Bolton’s brother Brian for the first time gave emotional testimony about his brother and the aftermath of his death

Bolton told the court that “I try to be constantly aware of my surroundings of threats that are around me in restaurants with my wife.  I like to sit facing the door, so I can see people coming in and out because I don’t want somebody to get up behind me causing harm to me or my wife. “

The state also brought to the stand a Memphis police officer who was friends with Bolton, and a parole officer who testified to Wilbourn’s gang activity and acts of violence.

The state rested tonight, and the defense will conclude the sentencing hearing this morning.


After a week of courtroom testimony, the jury in the Tremaine Wilbourn came to a quick decision during deliberations.

The man accused of killing Memphis Police Department Officer Sean Bolton was found guilty on four counts. They are listed below:

  • First-degree murder
  • Carjacking
  • Possession of a firearm in the commission of a dangerous offense
  • Felon in possession of a firearm. 

Wilbourn accepted a proposal of “life in prison without the possibility of parole."

Background information on the case

Officer Sean Bolton was killed in the line of duty back in August 2015. Tremaine Wilbourn is the Memphis man accused of shooting him.

Investigators were called to the 4800 block of Summerlane Ave. in Parkway Village.

Police say Wilbourn and another man were sitting in a vehicle when the suspect shot the officer as he was approaching the car.

Wilbourn then ran from the scene and carjacked a man at gunpoint. Two days later, he turned himself into MPD.

He was given a $10 million bond.

Wilbourn also pleads guilty to federal charged in 2017. He was sentenced to more than 27 years in prison for federal weapons and carjacking charges connected to the Bolton murder.