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Another known wolf: Repeat gun felon let out of prison kills corrections officer

Mathew Lee Wilks had the prototypical rap sheet of a murderer who was let off easy by a broken justice system. He has driving, theft, drug, firearms, and battery charges and convictions dating back to 2001, but he never served much time in prison. Last Friday, he allegedly murdered a female corrections officer in front of her son while she was teaching her son how to drive.

On Wednesday, Wilks was charged with first-degree murder of Tracey Smith, a sergeant for the Milwaukee Department of Corrections, during what is being described as a road rage incident. According to the criminal complaint based on Smith’s son’s account, the 17-year-old student driver was making a left turn with his mother in the car when a gold van driven by Wilks came from behind, cut them off, and collided with them mid-turn. He then alleges that when his mother got out of the car, Wilks yelled, "Bitch, I'll kill you," and then shot her fatally in the chest.

This wasn’t just an evil inclination in the passion of one heated moment. This man was a ticking time bomb.

Police later found a large quantity of cocaine and firearms in his home. And he had a history of just that – guns and firearms convictions. In February 2008, he was convicted on firearms and drug charges and was sentenced to 16 months in state prison, according to Wisconsin court records. In 2013, he was convicted on cocaine charges. He served just 30 days in prison despite being a repeat offender with firearms charges.

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