On November 16, 2010, 18-year-old Joshua Wilkerson gave Hermilio Moralez a ride home, as he did on many days. The two attended the same high school.
When Joshua failed to return home, his parents contacted police. That evening, his mom, desperately searching for Joshua, found his abandoned pickup truck parked at a local strip mall.
The following day, Moralez confessed to killing Joshua and eventually agreed to lead police to the location of his body, a field in Fort Bend County. His hands and feet were bound and his body had been set ablaze.
A bloody stick which Moralez used to beat Joshua into unconsciousness was found near the illegal alien's home.
Moralez was charged with murder, a first-degree felony, failure to identify and attempting to take a weapon from a peace officer. Investigators said Moralez, while handcuffed, tried to pull a detective’s weapon from his holster as they jumped a fence in a field. He was immediately restrained, police said. He also provided a false identity when he was questioned, officials said.
On January 28, 2013, a Brazoria County jury found Moralez guilty of the brutal murder. He was sentenced to life in prison.
Joshua's mom, Laura Wilkerson has become a very outspoken advocate for the enforcement of of immigration laws.
In July 2015, she testified before the U.S. Senate's Judiciary Committee. A portion of that powerful testimony follows:
My son’s name was Joshua Wilkerson. On November 16, 2010, he was beaten, strangled, tortured until he died. He was tied up, thrown in a field, and set on fire. His killer, Hermilo Moralez, was brought here illegally by his illegal parents when he was ten years old, so he fit the ‘DREAM’ kid description. He was sentenced to life in prison, which means it will be 30 years before he’s up for parole. He’ll be a 49-year-old man, who I don’t expect to be deported. And I just hope he doesn’t come to live in your city.
We had to hear this kid on the stand muttering about, ‘In my country…’ ‘In my country…’ never to finish that sentence. We listened to him tell us repeatedly that his ‘killing skills took over,’ that Josh had kicked his dog, and his ‘killing skills took over.’ His parents somehow managed to provide lessons so he acquired a black belt in mixed martial arts. Joshua had never been in a fight in his life.
Instead of getting Joshua home that day from school, we got an autopsy report.
‘This body is received in a grey body bag. There’s a tag on his toe that bears the name, Joshua Wilkerson. This is a white male weighing a hundred pounds. He is tied up with braided rope — 13 loops around his neck in a slipknot. It goes behind his back through his back belt loop. It goes to his hands and his feet, behind his body. He has multiple fractures in his face and nasal cavity. His throat and his voicebox are crushed.’
He was kicked so hard in the stomach that it sent his spleen into his spine, and sliced it in two… The medical examiner said it was torture.
‘This body has significant skin loss on his buttocks, his abdomen, his penis, his hands, and his face. He has one stick of gum and a tardy slip in his pocket.’
This was our family’s 9/11 terrorist attack by a foreign invader, whether you want to recognize it or whether you do not,” Wilkerson said. “This government continues to fail or even recognize that we have an issue. Americans are dying daily at the hands of criminals that we don’t even know are here.
You’re officially notified today there’s a problem when this happens. You can’t deny it any longer. You cannot you cannot stand by and ignore our families — our American families. You’re elected by Americans, not any other country. You should be for Americans…If you want to sit quietly on the sidelines, you’ve thrown your hat into the ring already. Your silence speaks volumes. You’re either for Americans, or you’re not.
I will not give up another one of my children so that a foreign person can have a nicer life. I’m not going to do it. You don’t understand the pain. It’s so deep in the soul — in the place you don’t even recognize you have. There aren’t words to describe the pain to someone who has not gone through it. I’m not giving up another kid.
Joshua extended his friendship and kindness, and for his giving heart, he was murdered in the most gruesome fashion.
May God Bless his grieving family.