Final pleas in Carter case

Published 9:22 pm Tuesday, May 26, 2015

After he was ruled competent, trials have been scheduled for one of three defendants in the Donald Carter murder case.

Circuit Court Judge L. Wayne Farmer ruled Katron Walker is fit to stand trial, during a hearing Tuesday in Suffolk Circuit Court, according to Will Jamerson, deputy commonwealth’s attorney.

“Things are going to move forward,” the prosecutor said.

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In February, a different judge ordered psychological rehabilitation for Walker, after a psychiatrist deemed him mentally unfit to stand trial.

Walker is now the last of the defendants to formally plead in the slaying of Carter, 82, outside his East Washington Street furniture store on Sept. 22. All three have entered pleas of not guilty for all charges.

For Walker, a jury trial has been scheduled for Oct. 13-16 on charges of first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit robbery, attempted robbery and two counts of use of a firearm in the commission of a felony.

A separate jury trial has been set for Oct. 22-23 on a fifth charge: possessing a gun while a convicted felon.

The commonwealth alleges Carter was shot to death in a botched robbery by Walker, Leon Hayes and Naomi Lambert after — according to prosecution testimony — inviting Lambert and two other females inside his building, where he offered liquor and money for sex.

Hayes’ main trial is set for Aug. 17-21, but a separate trial on his fifth charge of possessing a firearm while a convicted felon has not been scheduled, according to Virginia’s case information website. Lambert’s trial is set for July 13-17.

All three defendants, who opted for jury trials, face identical charges, besides Hayes and Walker both facing the additional firearms charge that’s being tried separately.