A former Army medic was sentenced to 35 years in prison on Monday for stabbing his wife to death in 2014 in a case that involves an extramarital affair, child pornography, and dishonourable discharge from the US military.
Michael Walker was sentenced on Monday, months after he pleaded guilty of second-degree murder. The 40-year-old admitted to killing his wife Catherine Walner when he was stationed at the emergency room in Tripler Army Medical Center, Honolulu. His confession came a week before his trial was scheduled to begin in September, last year.
Along with Walker, his girlfriend, Ailsa Jackson, 29, was also sentenced to 30 years in prison on Monday. Despite Jackson committing the killing, she avoided the mandatory life sentence by giving valuable information about their coded messages to prosecutors to win an indictment against Walker, the Assistant US Attorney Tom Brady was quoted as saying by the Associated Press.
"Our goal from the very beginning was to hold everyone responsible for Catherine's death accountable," Brady said. While Walker initially faced 24-30 years in prison under a deal with prosecutors, US District Judge Susan Oki Mollway said that she gave a longer sentence because Walkner orchestrated the killing knowing Jackson's mental health issues.
"Ms Jackson wielded the knife that killed your wife," Mollway said. "And that was a terrible, terrible deed. But it does appear to me that you were in control. That she did what she did because you wanted her to. And you knew she had mental health problems."
Plan to kill
Investigation revealed Walker met Jackson at a dating site in September 2014. He told Jackson that he was married and had the "deepest desire" to have his wife gone but couldn't divorce her. Prosecutors said Walkner couldn't divorce Catherine due to financial concerns and was bound to receive $400,00 from her life insurance.
Emails, text messages retrieved shows they plotted the killing and called each other "daddycakes" and "babygirl."
Catherine was killed inside her house in November 2014 hours after Walkner and Jackson met in a military reservation's gym parking lot. Using code words such as "bad" and "good," which indicated entering through the window or use the back door's key, Jackson walked to the Walkers' house at Aliamanu Military Reservation and found the key. She then went inside, grabbed a knife, and went upstairs and stabbed Catherine, court documents revealed Jackson as stating.
Child pornography and dishonourable discharge from US military
Investigation of the murder also found Walkner guilty of child pornography charges in 2016. A year later, Walker was convicted of sexually abusing a child, physically assaulting a child, and wrongfully communicating a threat. Authorities reduced his rank from sergeant to private and sentenced him to 10 years of confinement in 2017. Army said Walker also received a dishonourable discharge.