The Shooting by Panic Button: The April Wilkens Case


Manage episode 341553833 series 2769142
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But this wasn't exactly an open and shut case. Terry had raped April mere hours before the shooting. It was while he was violating her that he said he was going to kill her and twisted her neck to break it. During the life and death struggle for her life, April knows she had no options--it wasn't a feeling, she had no options.
In 1999, Wilkens was tried by the state of Oklahoma and sentenced by a jury to LIFE. She's now 51-years-old, and 25 years into her sentence. Panic Button is the untold story of the escalating cycles of abuse that led to Terry Carlton's death, and the unthinkable ways survivors of violence get chewed up and spit out by Oklahoma's justice system.
In this first episode, attorneys Colleen McCarty and Leslie Briggs tell the story of the night of the murder, the facts in the record, and April's testimony from the stand at trial.
Detailed Timeline of Events in April's Case:
Sign the petition to support April's release:
See pictures of April's and Terry's houses now and watch a video of host Colleen McCarty driving from April's to Terry's so you can see how close they lived at the time of the murder.
Donate to keep our work going!:
Learn more about Oklahoma Appleseed:
If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic abuse, use a safe computer and contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at or call 1-800-799-7233. You can also search for a local domestic violence shelter at
If you have experienced sexual assault and need support, visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) at or call 1-800-656-HOPE.
Have questions about consent? Take a look at this guide from RAINN at
Learn more about criminalized survival at
Learn more about the Domestic Violence Survivors Justice Act at
Follow the #freeaprilwilkens campaign on Instagram at @freeaprilwilkens, and on their webpage at
Colleen McCarty is one of the hosts, executive director of Oklahoma Appleseed, and producer. Leslie Briggs is the other host who is a civil rights and immigration attorney, and producer. Additional audio production by Rusty Rowe. Support from Amanda Ross and Ashlyn Faulkner. Our theme music is Velvet Rope by Gyom.
Panic Button is created in partnership with Oklahoma Appleseed Center for Law and Justice and Leslie Briggs. Follow OK Appleseed on Twitter and Instagram at @ok_appleseed.
If you want to continue the conversation with other listeners, please join our Panic Button podcast community on Bookclubz at
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Thank you to Button: The April Wilkens Case for the great episode.
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153 episodes