A 23-year-old Kent man was charged Monday with first-degree murder domestic violence, accused of beating his girlfriend and then intentionally running her over with his car last week, according to King County prosecutors.
Cordonte Walker, who was prohibited from possessing firearms due to a domestic-violence protection order issued last year to protect a previous girlfriend, was also charged with second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm, say the charges.
Killed was Lurdes Keymolen, who died from multiple blunt force injuries hours after celebrating her 23rd birthday with Walker, her boyfriend of two years, and her family, the charges say.
Walker was arrested at the scene early on Aug. 27 and booked into the Maleng Regional Justice Center; though a King County District Court judge initially set bail at $200,000 on Friday, a Superior Court judge on Monday increased Walker’s bail to $2 million, jail and court records show.
Senior Deputy Prosecutor John Castleton wrote in the charges that one witness, who was awakened by a woman’s screams, heard a man say, “Calm down, calm down or I’ll put you down,” before the witness heard gunshots and screeching tires. The charges say another witness fired at least twice at Walker’s tires in an attempt to keep him from fleeing the scene.
“In the present case, after threatening and beating the victim with his fists, he killed her by intentionally running her over with his car. He then dragged her lifeless body to his car, unconcerned about the witness who had the defendant at gunpoint in an attempt to keep him from leaving the scene,” Castleton wrote, calling Walker’s alleged conduct callous, brazen and premeditated. “The defendant then drove away, dumping the victim’s body behind a nearby business and leaving her for police to find.”
According to the charges:
Keymolen turned 23 on Aug. 26 and went out for dinner with Walker to celebrate. They later stopped by her parents’ home, where Walker fell asleep after drinking tequila.
Around 3:40 a.m. on Aug. 27, the couple were driving back to their apartment complex when they got into a heated argument. Keymolen, who had been driving, stopped the car on 104th Avenue Southeast, just north of Southeast 248th Street, and started walking west toward the apartment complex, which was just down the road.
Walker got into the driver’s seat, drove up to Keymolen and told her to get back in the car but she refused. He parked in the yard of a house in the 24700 block of 102nd Place Southeast. There, a witness who was outside smoking a cigarette heard a woman’s screams for help and went to the end of his driveway and saw a woman being beaten in his neighbor’s shrubbery by a man standing over her.
The witness saw the man dump the contents of a purse in the middle of Southeast 248th Street. The woman was eventually able to get up and was standing on the northeast corner of Southeast 248th Street and 102nd Place Southeast when the witness saw the man accelerate and turn to the right, directly at the woman who was thrown backward by the impact; the car was then driven into a neighbor’s yard, running over the woman.
The witness called 911 and while on the line with a dispatcher, he watched the man get out of the car and slap the woman in the face, then drag her back to the car and put her in the front passenger seat while the witness yelled at him to leave her alone and pointed a gun at him to keep him from leaving.
The man couldn’t get the woman’s legs inside the car so drove off with her legs hanging out of the open passenger-side door, the witness told police. The witness fired multiple shots at the departing car.
Responding Kent police officers came across a man in a parking lot in the 24600 block of 104th Avenue Southeast who matched the suspect’s description and they noted he was sweating profusely and wearing only one shoe.
The man, identified as Walker, directed officers to a chiropractor’s office to the south. Behind the building, officers found Keymolen’s body; she was only wearing underwear, and a black dress and a red shoe were found nearby. They found Walker’s car, a black Pontiac Grand Prix, straddling a curb a few feet to the east with three of its doors open.
The witness who called 911 was driven to the scene and confirmed Walker was the man he saw beat and run over the woman.
Police say Walker claimed Keymolen stepped in front of the car and he accidentally hit her, but evidence found at the scene, witness statements and video-surveillance footage that captured Walker dragging Keymolen’s body back to the car and being confronted by the witness before speeding away with the passenger door open contradict his account, according to the charges.
Keymolen’s identity card and a .40-caliber handgun were among the belongings police recovered from the street. A member of Keymolen’s family later told police that Walker had brought the gun into her parents’ home and the relative, who was considering a gun purchase, photographed Walker’s firearm. The gun in the photo, which was given to police, appeared to be the same gun found at the scene.
The King County Medical Examiner’s Office performed an autopsy on Keymolen and preliminary findings show she suffered blunt force injuries to many parts of her body, consistent with being hit by a car. Her pelvis and jaw were each broken in several places and she suffered multiple rib fractures, resulting in damage to her lungs and massive internal bleeding, the charges say. She also had a black eye, cuts inside her mouth and a bite mark on her cheek, injuries that appeared to have been inflicted while she was still alive.
Walker is scheduled to be arraigned Sept. 14.