Double-Murder Suspect Is Decorated Soldier

Double-Murder Suspect Is Decorated Soldier

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The active-duty Fort Drum soldier accused of killing his wife and a state trooper is a staff sergeant with several honors and 10 years in the military.

Thirty-two year old Justin Walters is charged with first- and second-degree murder in the shooting deaths of 36 year old Trooper Joel Davis and 27 year old Nichole Walters.

Davis was responding to a report of multiple gunshots at 34371 County Route 46 in the town of Theresa. The highway is also known as River Road.

A second woman, Rebecca Finkle, was also shot. Police say her injuries were not life threatening.

Walters appeared in LeRay town court late Monday afternoon. There was no plea. The case was held over for a grand jury. An order of protection was issued for him to have no contact with Finkle.

He was jailed without bail.

Fort Drum officials say Staff Sgt. Walters joined the Army and arrived at Fort Drum in September 2007.

He was deployed twice to Afghanistan: from January 2009 to January 2010 and from March 2011 to March 2012.

Among his awards and honors are: Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, non-commissioned officer professional development ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, NATO medal, Combat Infantry Badge.

He is originally from Zeeland, Michigan.

Fort Drum officials also had words about the victims.

"Trooper Davis is a hero," Maj. General Walter E. Piatt said. "It takes an uncommon valor to run toward acts of terrible violence, to sacrifice for the safety of strangers. The deaths of a young mother and this brave officer are a terrible tragedy and we are deeply affected by their loss."

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