MIDLAND. Texas (Nexstar) – On Wednesday, Midland jury found David Wilson not guilty in the 21019 shooting death of Midland Police officer Nathan Heidelberg.
The verdict comes after the one-week trial was suspended due to a COVID-19 outbreak.
Wilson was charged with manslaughter of a Midland Police officer Nathan Heidelberg back in 2019 and would have faced a lifetime in prison. Wilson claimed self-defense of his home from an intruder not knowing it was Heidelberg.
On March 5, 2019, Heidelberg was shot and killed in the line of duty while responding to a burglar alarm call at Wilson’s home. According to an arrest affidavit, around 1:16 a.m., MPD was dispatched to the home in the 3300 block of Eagle Cove to investigate. The affidavit went on to state that Heidelberg noticed the front door was “unsecure” and was investigating when he was shot once.
Wilson’s attorney later said Wilson was defending his home and mistook Heidelberg for an intruder.
In September of 2019, Wilson’s attorney filed a motion to quash the manslaughter indictment stating that the alarm system in Wilson’s home had malfunctioned and mistakenly alerted the police. According to that motion, Wilson was not aware that his alarm company had called the police and the malfunctioning alarm happened in the pool house, which is on a separate alarm system from the main house.
That motion went on to state that Heidelberg and another officer first checked the backyard, but the gate was locked. The officers then went to the front of the house where they tried the front door and found it to be unlocked. Once the officers opened the front door, a door alarm chimed, and, according to the brief, the chime woke Wilson’s wife, who then woke him and said she thought someone was in the house.
“Mr. and Mrs. Wilson can hear and see silhouettes outside with flashlights,” the brief said. “But they have no idea who is outside, what they are saying, or what they are doing. There were no red and blue police lights.”
Wilson’s attorney said the front door was opened by the officers twice, and that Wilson fired when the door was opened the second time.