Former Tripler Army Medical Center medic Michael Walker admits that he arranged for his lover to kill his wife while he was at work, but says he was still shocked when he found his wife’s lifeless body in the couple’s home at Aliamanu Military Reservation.
“I didn’t think it would actually happen,” Walker told Senior U.S. District Judge Susan Oki Mollway.
Walker, 40, pleaded guilty Monday, in a deal with the government, to noncapital murder for aiding and abetting the November 2014 fatal stabbing death of his wife, Catherine. He was scheduled to stand trial next week for capital murder, which carries a mandatory life prison term.
Noncapital murder carries a maximum penalty of life in prison, but his lawyer Birney Bervar said the former Army sergeant is likely facing a prison term of 24 to 30 years at sentencing in February.
He said federal prosecutors had never offered to let Walker plead guilty to noncapital murder until a few days ago.
Walker stood at attention when speaking to Mollway and answered her questions with “Yes, ma’am,” even though he’s already been kicked out of the Army.
Ailsa Jackson, Walker’s lover, pleaded guilty to murder in 2015 and was expected to testify in trial against Walker. She agreed to accept a 30- to 33-year prison term and is scheduled to get sentenced on the same day as Walker.
Walker called 911 on Nov. 15, 2014, after finding his wife’s body in the couple’s military quarters. He had just returned home from working the overnight shift at Tripler’s emergency room.
Jackson, 28, said she entered the home using a key Walker had left for her outside the back door. She said she grabbed a knife from the kitchen, went upstairs to where Catherine Walker was sleeping and stabbed her multiple times. Jackson said she waited in the home about a half-hour to make sure Walker was dead.
The Honolulu Medical Examiner says Catherine Walker, 38, died from stab wounds to her neck and torso.
At the time of the stabbing Jackson lived with her parents on another part of Aliamanu Military Reservation. She met Michael Walker online, two months before the murder.
The government says Jackson intended to commit the murder three nights earlier but was unable to enter the residence. Catherine Walker locked all the windows and doors because she was worried about sleeping alone at night after someone had recently broken into the couple’s car and stolen items out of her husband’s wallet during a hike.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Brady told Mollway that investigators recovered texts, emails and pictures that Jackson and Michael Walker had deleted from their cellphones detailing their relationship, discussing and planning Catherine Walker’s murder.
Michael Walker refers to Jackson in the texts as “babygirl,” and Jackson refers to Walker as “daddycakes.”
A military judge found Walker guilty in 2016 of possessing child pornography and soliciting money for sex with men.
The judge sentenced Walker to 27 months in prison, reduced his rank to private and ordered him dishonorably discharged.
Another military judge found Walker guilty in 2017 of sexually abusing, assaulting and threatening a child.
Bervar said officials uncovered the evidence for the child pornography, sexual solicitation, sexual abuse and other charges during the murder investigation.
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