Justin Walters Found Guilty In Double MurderPosted: Updated:
A jury has decided Justin Walters was in control of his actions the night he shot and killed his wife and a state trooper.
The nine-man, three-woman jury found Walters guilty of murdering his wife, Nichole Walters, and Joel Davis, the first trooper on the scene of a domestic violence call at the Walters' town of Theresa home on July 9, 2017.
Tears were in the eyes of many in the packed Jefferson County courtroom as the verdict was read Wednesday morning, while Walters showed no visible reaction.
After the jury was dismissed Walters was handcuffed and led out of the courtroom. That's when friends and families of the victims clapped and hugged.
Walters was found guilty on 52 counts including two counts of first-degree murder, attempted murder, assault, and criminal possession of a weapon.
Defense attorney Ed Narrow never challenged the facts of the case or that Walters shot and killed Nichole Walters and Davis.
He and his sole witness, a psychiatrist, claimed Walters suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder, childhood trauma, and alcoholism and wasn't in control of his actions the night of the shootings.
"I'm relieved, justice was served today and we were very very lucky to have the quality of the case that we had," District Attorney Kristyna Mills said after the verdict. "The state police did a phenomenal job with this case, investigating this case -- right from the first officers on scene, all the way up through."
"I'm glad that the jury took their time in considering the evidence in this case," defense attorney Ed Narrow said. "Defendant Walters is disappointed in the findings of the jury, but we're grateful for the time that they put in, in deliberating this matter, coming to a conclusion."
Trial testimony revealed Nichole had been shot at least 13 times. Trooper Davis, who was the first responding officer to the domestic dispute, was shot once in the heart.
Nichole's friend, Rebecca Finkle, who had been living on the Walters' property, also was shot by Walters that night, but survived.
Throughout the week long trial, jurors heard from more than 20 witnesses and saw dozens of pieces of physical evidence. Some testimony was emotional and some photos were tough to look at.
"These trials are very, very difficult and when you're dealing with something as heartbreaking as the way Nichole Walters was killed, that's very very difficult and then you add on to the fact that we all knew Trooper Davis, so this one kind of hit home for us," said Mills.
Nichole Walters' family told 7 News they were very happy with the verdict.
Mills said she spoke with the Davis family who told her they are very relieved and feel that justice has been served.
Sentencing is set for April 17.