ODU linebacker Derek Wilder, former teammate found guilty of eluding police


NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — ODU linebacker Derek Wilder, son of head coach Bobby Wilder, and a former ODU football player were found guilty and sentenced on Monday for attempting to elude police by riding motorcycles at high speeds.Related:Felony charge against ODU linebacker certified to grand jury

It came out in court that Derek Wilder and co-defendant Aquante Thornton were racing away from Chesapeake police in May 2017 before they both wrecked. Neither were seriously hurt.

Derek Wilder had GoPro video showing his popping a motorcycle wheelie near Frank’s Trucking Center on West Military Highway.

A marked Chesapeake police cruiser drove past Wilder and Thornton, and then you can hear Derek Wilder say to Thornton, “hey, hey.” Then the two take off at 90-100 mph, according to court testimony.

You then see Thornton crash. Then Wilder goes down, too. We interviewed Thornton outside the court on Monday.

“Just like the judge said, one bad decision, but at least I’m on the outside instead of the inside. That’s all I’m grateful for right now,” Thornton said.

The judge charged both with felony eluding, but agreed to delay the imposition of the sentencing for 18 months pending good behavior.

If they don’t get into trouble, then that’s it. The felony remains and that’s what still hurts Thornton, who had dreams of becoming a doctor, “I would like to have had it be a misdemeanor. I cant win it all… I don’t have a plan for anything yet. I got to make one, I guess. I can’t be a doctor anymore. I can’t be a pharmacist. I got to figure something else out.”

Thornton told us as he stood with his mother and local realtor Jeff Guill, who mentored Thornton.

“I know without a shadow of a doubt that God has great, amazing plans for (Aquante’s) life regardless,” Guill said.

Derek would not answer a question on what this event means to him, and what it means to have his dad, Coach Wilder, in his corner. He wouldn’t answer, but as the Wilder’s left the courthouse, you could tell it meant a lot for Derek to be in the comfort of his father, as they left with dad wrapping his right arm around Derek’s shoulder.

Derek Wilder released this statement on Monday afternoon:

“I want to apologize to my family, my teammates and my university for this incident that has brought negative attention to everyone involved. I made a poor choice and will grow as a person from this experience.”

His father Bobby released his own statement as well, adding that Derek is still on the team and preparing for the 2018-19 season.

“Derek was immediately suspended from the team following his actions and his suspension lasted for the entire 2017 season. He is currently working out with his teammates in the weight room preparing for spring practice in March.”

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