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Author Topic: TCCA Denies Direct Appeal for Adam Ward TX DR #999525 in 2005 Murder  (Read 2783 times)

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heidi salazar

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Wrongful death suit filed in Commerce murder

By BRAD KELLAR
Herald-Banner Staff

The family of a slain Commerce code enforcement officer has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the City of Commerce.

Donavan Wayne and Marissa Elizabeth Walker, the surviving children of Michael “Pee Wee” Walker, along with their grandfather Richard A. Walker, filed the suit in the 354th District Court Friday. The City of Commerce had not responded to the suit as of Wednesday afternoon and Commerce City Attorney Jim McLeroy could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

Adam Ward received the death penalty following his conviction on a charge of capital murder in connection with Michael Walker’s shooting death on June 13, 2005. Walker was taking photos of code violations at the home where the Wards lived on Caddo Street when he and Adam Ward had an altercation which ended with Walker being shot multiple times.

The lawsuit alleged City of Commerce officials knew Adam Ward possessed a gun and had used it to threaten neighbors on previous occasions.

The city was also alleged in the suit during the 10 years leading up to the shooting to have frequently threatened Ralph Ward, Adam Ward’s father, with action concerning reported code violations at the residence, with the regulations never being enforced.

“During that period, the city established what can only be described as a policy of harassment and intimidation toward Ralph Ward,” the suit claimed. “Despite the City of Commerce’s knowledge of the potentially dangerous situation into which it was sending Michael Walker, it did not warn him of the danger. Neither did it take steps to protect him, prevent confrontation or avoid injury.”

The suit argues that the City of Commerce now regularly provides police protection for utility meter-readers when they visit the residence where Ralph Ward still resides because, according to the suit, “ ... the city still considers Ralph Ward as dangerous; the city has even paid over time to the police to help protect other city-hall employees from Ralph Ward.”

The suit seeks unspecified amounts of actual and exemplary damages. No hearing dates concerning the suit are currently scheduled.

In June 2007, Richard A. Walker filed a wrongful death suit against both Adam and Ralph Ward, claiming they were negligent in causing the events which led to Walker’s murder. The suit claimed that both Ralph and Adam Ward incited the conflict that day and that Ralph Ward “intentionally and/or negligently provoked and provided direction” to his son prior to the shooting.

In April of last year, Walker and Ralph Ward issued a statement noting a compromise had been reached and that the suit had been settled.

No one was found liable for Michael Walker’s death through the settlement of the suit. Rather, according to the agreement, “this settlement is a compromise of a doubtful and disputed claim” and Ralph Ward’s payments to Walker’s children, “is not to be construed as an admission of responsibility.”

Under the terms of the settlement, the Wards agreed to pay each of Michael Walker’s children a little more than $26,000 in a one-time annuity, with Donavan Walker receiving $8,125 per year for four years starting Nov. 5, 2012 and Marissa Walker receiving $9,355 per year for four years beginning April 15, 2015.

The Wards also agreed to reimburse the Walker family for Michael Walker’s funeral expenses and for attorney’s fees.

The Walker family won millions in May of this year, after Adam Ward, who currently is on Texas’ death row, was found liable in the earlier suit. Judge Richard A. Beacom granted a default judgment to the Walkers, as Adam Ward had never responded to the suit. Beacom awarded the family $1 million in actual damages, $5 million in exemplary damages, as well as $15,000 in attorney’s fees and interest.

http://www.heraldbanner.com/local/local_story_324012831.html

heidi salazar

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Re: TCCA denies appeal for Adam Ward
« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2010, 06:40:00 PM »
Convicted killer of Texas officer loses appeal

(AP) -- HOUSTON (AP) - A man condemned for gunning down a housing code enforcement officer in north Texas in a trash dispute has lost an appeal of his conviction and death sentence.

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals on Wednesday upheld the case of 27-year-old Adam Kelly Ward. Ward was sent to death row for the 2005 fatal shooting of Michael "Pee Wee" Walker in Commerce, about 60 miles northeast of Dallas.

Evidence showed Ward opened fire after the 44-year-old officer took pictures of his home as part of a code violation investigation. Walker was following up on complaints of trash in the yard.

The inmate's appeal said the trial court judge improperly limited evidence of Ward's mental impairment and questioned the legality of the death penalty in Texas.

http://www.connectamarillo.com/news/news_story.aspx?id=414366

Offline TDCJDR

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Re: TCCA denies appeal for Adam Ward
« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2010, 06:52:38 PM »
This one DEFINITELY makes me do a "Happy Dance!" ;D

Offline tpgisgay

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Re: TCCA denies appeal for Adam Ward
« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2010, 07:10:21 PM »
More information.

Prosecutors told jurors in the 354th District Court Monday that Adam Kelly Ward gunned down Commerce Code Enforcement Officer Michael “Pee Wee” Walker in cold blood two years ago.

“He shot him again, and again, and again,” said District Attorney F. Duncan Thomas. “Adam Ward did not stop shooting until the clip was empty.”

Ward’s lead defense counsel, Dennis Davis, said Ward was the product of a “severely disfunctional family” and claimed he was only playing a role in an ongoing conflict between his father and the Commerce city government.

“Adam Ward, through his father Ralph Ward, had been at war with the City of Commerce since before he was born,” Davis told the jury during opening arguments in Ward’s capital murder trial. “On that fateful morning ... the first footsoldier of that war, Michael Walker, died.”

Meanwhile, Walker’s father, Dick Walker, recalled how while serving with the Commerce Emergency Corps he arrived on the scene to find his son near death.

“I dropped to my knees and I told him his dad was here and would take care of him,” the elder Walker said. “I told him I loved him and that he would be all right. He wasn’t.”

Ward, 24, is facing the potential of death by lethal injection, if he is convicted of capital murder. Ward remains in custody at the Hunt County Jail in lieu of $2 million bond. He has pleaded not guilty. The trial is expected to take about three weeks.

Walker was working as a code enforcement officer for the City of Commerce when shortly after 10 a.m. on June 13, 2005, he was taking photos of alleged code violations at the home where Ward lived on Caddo Street.

Thomas said Ward objected and the two argued, with Ward spraying Walker with a hose. Walker called 911 on his cell phone while Ward allegedly ran into the house, grabbed a .45 caliber pistol and two loaded clips. Thomas said Ward returned to the scene and began chasing Walker, shooting him as many as eight times as they ran. Thomas said Ward was attempting to reload the gun before Ralph Ward took the weapon away.

“Michael ‘Pee Wee’ Walker was brutally murdered, execution-style, simply because he was doing his job,” Thomas said.

Davis characterized the Ward household as one in which the family believed that the City of Commerce, the Commerce Independent School District and the Commerce Police Department were all conspiring against them, and that years of paranoia had reached a boiling point.

“What Michael Walker did not know is that he was walking into a war that day,” Davis said, noting that there had been several recommendations made to Ward’s parents that their son should receive treatment, advice which Davis said was ignored.

“But for the conspirators in his life, he’d be fine, says his dad and mom,” Davis said.

Dick Walker serves as the volunteer chief of the Commerce Emergency Corps and as an emergency medical technician. He said the initial call came in that a police officer had been shot and that he didn’t realize until his unit was enroute to the location that the city’s only code enforcement officer, his son, was the victim.

Walker said he arrived to see several police cars in the street.

“I started hollering out, ‘Is it my son? Is it my son?’, and no one would answer,” he said.

He and the other emergency personnel did their best, Walker said, but there was no chance.

“They were devastating wounds, devastating,” Walker said. “I knew I was going to lose my son when I first saw him.”

Prosecutors said there were several witnesses to the shooting. One of them, Joseph Hamilton, also testified Monday. Hamilton said he was setting up a metal building down the street from the scene when he began hearing gunshots. He said he watched Walker being chased by Ward, with Walker first trying to get into his truck and drive away, and then getting out of the vehicle.

“He just kept getting shot until he finally died there on the sidewalk,” Hamilton said.

http://www.commercejournal.com/local/local_story_163123234.html