Christopher Evans Walker could face life in prison for allegedly running his estranged wife off a Parkland road.
Prosecutors charged him Monday with first-degree assault, violating a domestic violence protection order, and three counts of reckless endangerment.
They said the 37-year-old faces a third strike under the state’s “three strikes” law if convicted, which would mean life without parole.
The Sunday wreck left Walker’s 34-year-old wife in critical condition. It wasn’t clear if she would survive her injuries.
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Walker pleaded not guilty at arraignment, and Pierce County Superior Court Commissioner Meagan Foley ordered him held in lieu of $500,000 bail.
Foley admonished Walker at the start of the hearing for making an obscene gesture at the media. Sheriff’s deputies removed Walker from court minutes later when he started shouting profanities at Foley, when he learned he was prohibited from having contact with his mother.
Angela Gordon, who identified herself as Walker’s ex-wife, told reporters outside court: “This honestly isn’t him. ... I married a different person.”
She said that he’s struggled with drugs in recent years. He never would have done what he’s accused of if he’d been sober, she said.
Gordon said Walker’s not a bad person or a bad father to their 9-year-old daughter, and that she wants him to get help.
Marilyn Peetz, who identified herself as Walker’s sister, also spoke with reporters outside court.
She too said Walker needs help.
“This shouldn’t have happened,” she said.
Walker’s prior convictions include second-degree assault, harassment, second-degree robbery, second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm, forgery and bail jumping.
The harassment conviction was for threatening to kill Gordon in 2008, according to court records.
Charging papers and the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department give this account of the Sunday crash, and what led up to it:
Walker’s wife was given a temporary domestic violence protection order Thursday. She wrote in her petition that Walker had threatened to kill her multiple times, had been violent recently, and was stalking her.
Then the two met at Walker’s mother’s home Sunday. Husband and wife started to argue, and the mother told them to leave.
They drove off in different cars, and moments later the mother heard a loud crash nearby.
Walker had T-boned his wife’s vehicle, and the crash trapped them inside their cars near 112th Street South at A Street South. One of the vehicles hit an apartment building.
Witnesses said Walker rammed his wife’s car at a high-speed. One said Walker shouted after the crash: “I’m going to (expletive) kill her.”
Both Walker and his wife were taken to the hospital with serious injures.
Four people inside the apartment building suffered injuries that didn’t appear to be serious.
Walker was released from the hospital and booked into jail Sunday evening.