For the second time, jurors will decide whether Odies Walker is guilty in connection with the fatal robbery of an armored car guard at a Lakewood Walmart in 2009.
The case went to the jury Wednesday after attorneys made their closing arguments.
Pierce County prosecutors argued that Walker was the mastermind behind the attack that killed 38-year-old Kurt Husted. Walker’s attorney argued they couldn’t prove it.
Walker was found guilty of aggravated first-degree murder and other charges in 2011 for the robbery and sentenced to life in prison without parole.
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The Washington State Supreme Court overturned the conviction because of misconduct by deputy prosecutors.
The court said the misconduct involved inflammatory slides Deputy Prosecutor Dawn Farina used during her closing argument in the first trial.
Walker faces the same charges in this trial.
On Wednesday, Superior Court Judge John Hickman told the attorneys before they presented their closing arguments that he had reviewed prosecutors’ remarks and didn’t recommend taking anything out.
Farina told the jury Walker organized the attack, supplied the gun, his proceeds were the biggest, and he drove the getaway vehicle.
He netted more than $22,000 of the roughly $55,000 taken from the truck, she said. After the shooting, he went shopping at the Walmart in Federal Way, where he bought a video game console, safes and other items.
She said he also took his family out to dinner, where he bragged about the fatal shooting.
Calvin Finley, Walker’s cousin and one of four others convicted in Husted’s death, confessed to firing the gun. Finley and another man robbed and killed Husted, while Walker waited outside, Farina said.
She told the jury Walker told Finley to “do what you got to do,” and that Walker shouted into a cellphone during the ambush to shoot the guard.
“This was not an accident,” Farina said. “Kurt Husted was shot in the head at close range.”
Walker used to work at the store, she said, and got information about its revenue from his girlfriend, who was supervisor there.
Farina pointed out that Walker was the oldest of the group accused of the robbery, and she alleged he told the others he’d get the most time if they made a mistake because it was his plan.
She said he stored the getaway vehicle under a tarp at his home before the shooting. Investigators found his fingerprint on the seat belt and his DNA on the gear shift knob.
Defense attorney Bryan Hershman told the jury that DNA and fingerprints don’t come with a time stamp, and that investigators couldn’t know when they were left there.
He also questioned the credibility of witnesses during the trial, and said many had changed their stories over time.
Regarding the allegation that Walker provided the gun that killed Husted, Hershman pointed out that it’s never been recovered.
“We don’t know where the murder weapon is,” he said.
Hershman told jurors he realized how the facts that Walker lived near the store and that his cousin was the shooter could be interpreted negatively.
“I get it, there are some bad inferences there,” he said.
But he reminded the jury that their verdict isn’t about what they believe happened, but what prosecutors have or have not proved beyond a reasonable doubt.
Even so, he said, he knows it’s natural to wonder whether Walker did it.
“All I can tell you,” he told the jury, “is I hope not.”