May 19th, 2010 | City, News

Police make first arrest in 11 murders this year

William Wilkins
William Wilkins Photo by New HavenPoliceDepartment.

Police have finally made progress in solving the city’s recent wave of murders, making the first arrest in connection with any of the 11 killings so far this year.

The New Haven Police Department’s Major Crime Unit and the United States Marshal’s Fugitive Task Force arrested William Wilkins, 21, in Fair Haven on Wednesday morning for the April murder of Radcliff Deroche, 18. Deroche was shot on Easter Sunday while riding an ATV on Dixwell Avenue in the Newhallville neighborhood.

NHPD spokesman Joe Avery said police first obtained an arrest warrant for Wilkins on May 11. Two days later, police raided two houses in the Hill and Dixwell neighborhoods looking for Wilkins, but they came up empty until today.

Wilkins has been charged with murder, criminal use of a firearm, carrying a pistol without a permit and reckless endangerment in the first degree. He is being held on a $2 million dollar bond.

Police have yet to make arrests both in this year’s 10 other murders and in at least five of last year’s killings.