Wade Wilson adopted, bent on destruction, sharing terrible story, father testifies

Convicted killer Wade Wilson emerged last week as an adoptee, a "storyteller", a burglar and bent on destruction.

Wilson's biological father of a Fort Myers man convicted in 2019 killings of two Cape Coral women said he initially believed his son was telling him a fictional story when he narrated the slayings during a phone call where he admitted he was a killer.

Wilson, 30, recently of Fort Myers, who grew up in Tallahassee before moving to Lee County, was convicted of first-degree murders of Kristine Melton, 35, and Diane Ruiz, 43; the grand theft of Melton's car; battery on Melissa Montanez, 41; burglary of a dwelling belonging to Kent Amlin or Fannie Amlin; and petty theft from Kent Amlin or Fanny Amlin.

Wilson has been incarcerated at the Lee County Jail since his Oct. 8, 2019, arrest. His former defense attorney, Young Tindall, died Nov. 12, 2022.

A Lee County jury on Wednesday afternoon convicted Wade Wilson, 30, of first-degree murder. The jury reconvenes Thursday to determine whether he will face the death penalty.

The second step of the capital murder trial, the penalty phase, is expected to last two days.

If at least eight of the 12 jurors vote to recommend capital punishment, Lee Circuit Judge Nicholas Thompson may impose the death sentence. Joseph Zieler, 61, is the latest convicted Lee County killer to get the capital punishment following Lee Circuit Judge Robert Branning's June 26, 2023, ruling.

Defense attorneys Lee Hollander and Kevin Shirley did not call witnesses on Wilson's behalf. Wilson declined to testify after he consulted with his attorneys for about 15 minutes.

How did Wade Wilson meet Diane Ruiz and Kristine Melton?

Melton decided to go to Buddha LIVE, 12701 McGregor Blvd., in Fort Myers, with a friend to listen to live music Oct. 6, 2019.

Toward the end of the night, as Melton and Sailors walked to the upstairs bar, Sailors said, Wilson jumped into their path and introduced himself as "JR."

Sailors said that after the live-music bar closed down for the night, she, Melton, Wilson and another man they had met that night, Jayson Shepard, 42, drove to Shepard's home, where they spent several hours.

Wade Wilson trial: Guilty: Wade Wilson convicted of all counts in 2019 murders of Kristine Melton, Diane Ruiz

Melton, Sailors and Wilson left the next morning and went to Melton's home..

Kristine Melton, 35, of Cape Coral, was murdered Oct. 7, 2019, by Wade Wilson, 30.
Kristine Melton, 35, of Cape Coral, was murdered Oct. 7, 2019, by Wade Wilson, 30.

Wilson choked Melton in her sleep after Sailors left and fled in her car. He headed to Fort Myers, where he assaulted Montanez, his ex-girlfriend.

Wilson then returned to Cape Coral. As Ruiz walked to work, Wilson stopped and asked her for directions.

Diane Ruiz's body was found in a field in Cape Coral on Oct. 10, 2019, four days after she was reported missing.
Diane Ruiz's body was found in a field in Cape Coral on Oct. 10, 2019, four days after she was reported missing.

Ruiz got into Wilson's car, where he strangled her before drove over her between 10 and 20 times until she died. An act he gleefully relived describing it to his father.

Who was Wade Wilson?

Wilson's biological father, Steven Testasecca, 46, of Lakeland, said his level of contact with his son has been "sporadic" over the years.

Testasecca said Wilson contacted him when he became of age. He and Wilson's mother were both teenagers when she became pregnant; Wilson was placed for adoption. The testimony did not reveal who raised Wilson or other life details.

Wade Wilson narrated the slayings to his biological father

Testasecca said he received a call from Wilson on Oct. 7, 2019, while he was at work. According to Testasecca, Wilson asked for help and said he did something he could not take back.

"He said, 'I'm a killer,'" Testasecca said, adding he did not believe Wilson initially. Testasecca asked that Wilson call him later in the evening.

At least two other calls followed. It was not until a 10 p.m. call that Testasecca began to think what Wilson was saying could be true, he testified.

Testasecca said Wilson did not show remorse.

"He's a good storyteller," Testasecca said.

Testasecca said that during the latter of the calls, which he placed on speaker with his biological mother listening in and relaying the information to law enforcement, Wilson detailed the killings.

Testasecca said Wilson confessed to choking Melton after she went to sleep.

Testasecca testified Wilson confessed to stopping Ruiz for directions before she got into the car and he choked her while he drove.

According to Testasecca's testimony, Wilson said Ruiz was still breathing before he repeatedly ran her over.

"He was excited," Testasecca said, adding Wilson said he wanted to make Ruiz "look like spaghetti." "He was wanting me to feel the same way he was feeling."

Testasecca said he initially wanted to help Wilson, but his perspective changed when Wilson began delving into detailed recounts of the slayings.

"What if that was my mom?" Testasecca asked. "He would've done it again."

How did Steven Testasecca lead authorities to Wade Wilson?

Trying to get Wilson to cooperate, Testasecca said, he asked him for his location while the call remained on speaker.

Testasecca said he told his son he would send an Uber to his location.

Home owner who left for Ohio says Wade Wilson was not welcome

Fanny Amlin, 80, said she and her husband, Kent Amlin — who did not testify — had just traded in the Florida sun for the cooler Ohio temperatures when Wilson broke into their home Oct. 7, 2019.

Fanny Amlin said the couple locked the house and left everything tidied up.

When authorities found Wilson after Testasecca flagged them, Tuesday's testimony uncovered, they found White Claw alcoholic beverages in the home, as well as a belt and other clothing sitting on a table.

Tomas Rodriguez is a Breaking/Live News Reporter for the Naples Daily News and The News-Press. You can reach Tomas at TRodriguez@gannett.com or 772-333-5501. Connect with him on Threads @tomasfrobeltran, Instagram @tomasfrobeltran and Facebook @tomasrodrigueznews.

This article originally appeared on Naples Daily News: Wade Wilson was convicted of killing two women. What we know