Stephen Walker’s wife, Tina, tried to mitigate the potential prison sentence her husband faced for shooting her, telling the court she contributed to the conflict.
But in the end, Allen Superior Court Judge John Surbeck handed the 35-year-old Walker a total of 60 years in prison Tuesday for shooting his wife and her adult daughter in October.
And he reminded Walker’s wife and her brother, who also told the court she was partly to blame, that this whole incident was solely Walker’s fault.
In April, he pleaded guilty to two counts of attempted murder, right before his trial on 10 charges related to the shooting was scheduled to begin.
As part of a plea agreement with prosecutors, eight additional charges ranging from a misdemeanor charge of criminal recklessness with a vehicle to a Class B felony charge of aggravated battery were dismissed.
In October, Walker and his wife got into an argument inside their home in the Dupont Estates trailer park. As the argument continued, Walker began to drink more rum, making a shooting gesture with his fingers. Eventually, he went to a bedroom, got a .25-caliber handgun out of a locked safe and brought it back to the argument.
According to court documents, Tina Walker was sitting on her daughter’s bed when Stephen Walker shot her, standing about a foot away.
Two bullets went into her chest and a third grazed her.
He then turned the gun on her daughter, sitting nearby on the floor. She put her hands up, holding a cellphone, to protect herself. The bullet struck the cellphone and her finger before traveling down her arm.
Walker left the house, leaving his wife for dead and taking her credit cards, which he then used at a strip club, according to prosecutors.
He was spotted by police back at the home a few days later. Walker fled in a car, wearing a motorcycle helmet, and led police on a brief chase that ended in a field off Diebold Road.
During Tuesday’s sentencing hearing, Walker apologized to his wife and his family for his actions. Choking back tears, Walker said he was trying to deal with the fact that he would never see his young children again.
He said his wife introduced him to Christ but said he made the choice too late. He asked Surbeck for leniency to allow him to remain in the community to work in his church and do other service.
But Surbeck, citing Walker’s criminal record and what was likely prior access to substance abuse treatment, said the defendant clearly had a problem and chose to do nothing about it.
Turning to Tina Walker, Surbeck reminded her that her husband alone is responsible for his actions.
Ma’am, this is not your fault, he said. Other folks in your family need to figure that out.