Taking the life of his girlfriend’s disabled brother earned Joseph Walker a trip to spend the rest of his own life in prison, a judge decided Friday.
Circuit Judge Krista Marx sentenced the 22-year-old to life in prison in at the end of a short hearing that comes nearly a month after a jury convicted Walker of second-degree murder in the March 2013 stabbing death of 38-year-old Tyrone Richardson.
Prosecutors in his trial claimed that Walker killed Richardson in anger after Richardson told him to stop dating his sister, Rhandi.
Walker later claimed he stabbed Richardson in self-defense.
Walker’s relatives in letters to Marx on his behalf described him as a loving brother who doted on his nieces and nephews, helped his mother and had aspirations for a career as a physical therapist.
“Wrong place at the wrong time,” Walker’s uncle, Ellis Green, said about his nephew’s case. “He’s praying and the family is praying. I hope for the best. Not for the worst.”
At the time of his death, Richardson lived in an independent living facility. His sister had asked if she and Walker could stay with him on the night he was killed because Walker’s mother had kicked him out of the house and Walker had plans to move to Georgia the next day.
According to arrest reports, Richardson hesitated, asking his sister to call their parents and get their approval first.
Walker in 2014 was on probation, having been found guilty in December 16, 2011 of robbery with a firearm and dealing in stolen property.