‘Life is precious’

Published 10:29 pm Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Accused killer’s family extends condolences

The family of Katron Shawndell Walker, charged in last week’s shooting death of furniture merchant Donald Carter, has extended its condolences to the Carter family.

“We, the Walker family, extend our sincere and heartfelt condolences to the Carter family during this unfortunate time,” Vance Walker said in an emailed statement to the Suffolk News-Herald. “Life is precious and no one deserves to experience such tragedy.”

Katron Walker, 31, a week ago became the third individual charged in the killing 82-year-old Carter on Sept. 22. Leon Jerome Hayes, 33, and Naomi Nichelle Lambert, 22, both were arrested less than 24 hours after the crime.


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All three are charged with first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit armed robbery, attempted armed robbery and two counts of use of firearm in the commission of a felony, with preliminary hearings in General District Court set for Nov. 3.

Walker faces two additional charges — entering a dwelling intending to commit a felony, and stealing property valued at less than $200 — after allegedly invading the home of Hayes and Lambert and threatening those inside.

“Seeing that our loved one has been charged for participation in this crime, it is too early for us to know what really happened,” Vance Walker stated. “We are still trying to wrap our heads around all of this, while in parallel, extending our support of love for him.”

The Walker family member also defended the family’s name in Suffolk: “With the love of God, our family’s integrity stands out. We are well known by many in the city of Suffolk, and we are happy to have witnessed Mr. Carter’s generosity in helping many people furnish their place of living. We will continue pray for our loved one and the Carter family.”

Vance Walker is the second relative of one of the three accused to speak out.

“I want to say my son wasn’t perfect,” Leon Hayes’ mother, Deloris Hayes, said last week. “He has made mistakes. He did things, but not murder.”

Prosecutors say that based on interviews with them, all three accused planned the crime and were present when Carter fell to the ground near his store in the 100 block of East Washington Street shortly after 1 a.m., fatally wounded by a single gunshot, the bullet entering his abdomen.

Carter, a Korean War veteran who had sold furniture in Suffolk for more than 60 years, was buried at Albert G. Horton Jr. Memorial Veterans Cemetery on Friday following a funeral service there with military honors.