Second murder defendant sentenced

Published 10:10 pm Thursday, April 7, 2016

The second of three defendants in the 2014 murder of 82-year-old downtown businessman Donald Carter has been sentenced.

Katron Shawndell Walker, 33, will serve 62 years in prison for his role in the crime. In a taped statement played during his December trial, he admitted to attempting to rob Carter and shooting when Carter fought back.

The trial jury recommended the 62-year sentence. Prosecutor Jim Wiser said Thursday in Suffolk Circuit Court that it was an appropriate sentence.

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“He’s still playing games as to who’s involved,” Wiser said, noting that Walker continues to change his story. “I think he’s still just playing games.”

According to evidence at Walker’s trial, he participated in the robbery after it was set up by Naomi Nichelle Lambert, 24, who is serving 22 years for her role in the crime. A third person, Leon Hayes, 35, is also a defendant in the crime but has not yet gone to trial.

Wiser noted that Walker’s juvenile record includes arson of a dwelling, six different assault charges and felony assault and battery of a law enforcement officer. He has also been charged with altering serial numbers on firearms.

“That leads the commonwealth to believe there’s no self-defense coming from those firearms — nothing but more crime,” Wiser said.

He pointed to the three generations of victims — Carter’s wife and siblings, as well as three children and his grandchildren.

“At the very least, 62 years is appropriate,” Wiser said.

Walker’s defense attorney, Michael Massie, told Judge Carl E. Eason Jr. that he has not yet in his 23-year career seen a judge deviate from the sentence a jury recommended in a murder case.

“What we are asking the court to do is not to deviate from the recommendation of the jury,” Massie said.

Eason noted the jury’s recommendation was “remarkably close” to the state sentencing guidelines, which gave a midpoint of 60 years.

Also Thursday, Walker was sentenced to four years and three months total on three different revocations of suspended sentences. One was for grand theft auto, and the other two were firearms charges.

Wiser said it was his fifth, third and second violation, respectively.

“You have failed dramatically and tragically in your supervision,” Eason said.

The next hearing in the case of Leon Hayes is set for May 26.