In 2011, a Pierce County jury convicted Odies Walker of aggravated murder in the first degree, assault in the first degree, robbery in the first degree, solicitation to commit robbery in the first degree and conspiracy to commit robbery in the first degree based on the following evidence.
Walker spent months planning the robbery and murder of a Loomis armored car guard at the Lakewood Walmart. He recruited accomplices, staked out the scene, and participated in the crimes. He previously worked at the store and the woman he regarded as his common law wife was an employee there. Prior to the robbery, Walker instructed his accomplices to “shoot the guard.”
On June 2, 2009, carrying out Walker’s plan, Calvin Finley entered the store and executed 38-year-old guard Kurt Husted, who was picking up a cash deposit. After Finley shot Husted in the face, another accomplice, Marshawn Turpin, picked up the $55,000 and fled to the getaway car driven by Walker. During the robbery, Walker was on a cell phone with Finley and shouted, “Shoot the mother [expletive].”
After the murder, Walker took the largest cut of the money and went on a shopping spree, purchasing portable safes, a gaming system, and a $200 dinner at Red Lobster where he boasted about the robbery and murder and talked about doing it again.
Three other defendants were convicted along with Walker who was sentenced to life in prison. He appealed to the Court of Appeals, which affirmed his conviction.
The Washington State Supreme Court reversed, holding that the State’s PowerPoint presentation during closing argument prejudiced Walker’s right to a fair trial even though Walker’s defense attorney did not object to the PowerPoint during trial. The presentation included several slides with the heading “Defendant Walker Guilty of Premeditated Murder,” which the court held to be improper. In its opinion, the Supreme Court applied standards from a case that had not been issued until after this trial. Additionally, the court also suggested the deputy prosecutor used “racially inflammatory text” but the “text” was a quote from Walker where he bragged about the crimes.
Prosecutor Mark Lindquist issued the following statement: “I’m confident jurors do their duty and base their verdicts on the evidence. In this case, the evidence was overwhelming. We expect to seek review in the United States Supreme Court.”
Communications and Public Information Coordinator
Pierce County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office