Curtis Walker and his wife have testified during Walker's murder trial that they didn't know 12-year-old Alajawan Brown had been fatally shot at a 7-Eleven store in Skyway until police caught up to them the next day at a motel in Yelm. Walker, who testified in his own defense Monday, is charged with first-degree murder...
Curtis Walker and his wife testified Monday during Walker’s murder trial that they didn’t know the 12-year-old victim had been shot at a 7-Eleven store in Skyway until police caught up with them the next day at a motel in Yelm.
Walker, a 36-year-old felon, is on trial for first-degree murder, accused of shooting Alajawan Brown in the back as the boy stepped off a Metro bus April 29, 2010.
The prosecution has argued that Brown was mistakenly shot by Walker, who thought the boy was a member of a rival gang involved in an earlier shootout at a nearby apartment complex. During that shootout, a man Walker referred to as his “little homie” was critically injured.
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Curtis and Shaleese Walker — who are the only witnesses to testify for the defense — claim Brown was actually shot by Rodrigues Rabun, though neither has testified they actually heard or saw Rabun fire a weapon after leaving the Cedar Village Apartments, about a block from the 7-Eleven where Brown was killed.
Rabun was a neighbor of Walker’s who accompanied Walker and Jonathan Jackson to the Skyway apartments so Jackson — allegedly a member of the Blood Pirus — could settle a beef with a member of the rival Crips gang.
Rabun testified earlier this month for the prosecution and admitted he fired four or five times at Cedar Village. But Rabun, who later fled to Louisiana, said it was Walker who fired the fatal shot at Brown at the 7-Eleven.
On Monday, Curtis Walker told King County Senior Deputy Prosecutor Kristin Richardson that he stands 5-foot-6 and at the time, weighed 250 pounds. Though he originally told detectives investigating Brown’s death that he was “dressed in red from head to toe,” Walker acknowledged on cross-examination that he was wearing a black leather jacket and black pants.
Walker’s physical appearance is key to the prosecution’s case because eyewitness descriptions of the shooter all implicate Walker, who was arrested on a parole violation in May 2010 and charged in connection with Brown’s slaying a month later. By contrast, Rabun is over 6 feet tall with a lanky build and was wearing tan shorts and a black hooded sweatshirt.
Shaleese Walker, who first took the stand Thursday, said she and her husband had previously planned a trip to Ocean Shores to celebrate their first wedding anniversary.
After moving from their Kent apartment to a home in Des Moines on April 30, she said she and her husband got a motel room in Yelm because they were too tired to drive the entire way to their destination. Soon after checking in, they were confronted by homicide detectives, who informed them that a boy had been killed at the 7-Eleven the day before.
During cross-examination Monday, Richardson pressed Shaleese Walker about discrepancies in her statements to police and on the stand. During one exchange, Richardson said, “It’s the same with your husband — you’ll say whatever you need to say to keep him out of jail.”
Shaleese Walker responded, “Curtis is wrong and he’s going to have to pay for whatever he’s done.”
Her husband later took the stand and told defense attorney Ann Mahony, “I heard four to five shots, rapidly, back to back” after pulling out of the apartment complex but he said he didn’t know anyone had been shot at the 7-Eleven.
At a stoplight, he jumped out of his wife’s red Cadillac and into his black Cadillac, which was being driven by Rabun. Moments later, as police cars sped past, Rabun ran a red light and the black Cadillac was involved in a hit-and-run crash. The two men ditched three guns in a field before Walker asked a friend to help him get rid of the damaged Cadillac, Walker said.
“I didn’t want to get stopped by the police with guns in the car. We had just left Cedar Village, my friend [Jackson] had got shot and I didn’t want to get in trouble,” said Walker, who was being supervised by the state Department of Corrections for a previous crime.
On cross-examination, Walker acknowledged he’s been a member of the Blood Piru gang for 20 years. But he said “you don’t necessarily have to be a gangbanger to be in a gang.” He later told Richardson, “I threw up my flag years ago but I don’t bang, I’m a hustler.”
Walker will continue his testimony Tuesday. Closing arguments in the trial are expected Wednesday.
Sara Jean Green: 206-515-5654 or email@example.com