The Latest: Man ordered held in slayings of wife, trooper

AP News
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Posted: Jul 10, 2017 6:49 PM
The Latest: Man ordered held in slayings of wife, trooper

THERESA, N.Y. (AP) — The Latest on the death of a New York state police trooper (all times local):

6:40 p.m.

An Afghanistan combat veteran charged with killing his wife and a New York state trooper in the driveway of his home has been arraigned and ordered held without bail for grand jury action.

About a dozen troopers stood at the back of LeRay Town Court as Justin Walters was led into the room in shackles Monday evening.

Walters is from Zeeland, Michigan. He's accused of killing his wife, Nichole Walters, and Trooper Joel Davis on Sunday.

Defense Attorney Eric Swartz waived a preliminary hearing. He says the next appearance will be in Jefferson County Court later. He won't comment further.

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2:10 p.m.

Authorities say an Afghanistan combat veteran fatally shot his wife in the driveway of their northern New York home, and then gunned down a state trooper who had responded to reports of gunfire at the couple's rural property.

State Police Superintendent George P. Beach II says Monday that 32-year-old Army Staff Sgt. Justin Walters shot his 27-year-old wife, Nichole, on Sunday night outside their home in the town of Theresa. Beach says 36-year-old Trooper Joel Davis was shot once in the torso after getting out of his cruiser about 75 feet from the home near Fort Drum.

Another trooper arriving on the scene found Davis in a roadside ditch. Davis died about an hour later at a hospital.

Walters was charged with first-degree murder in Davis' slaying and second-degree murder in his wife's killing.

It wasn't clear if he has a lawyer.

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11 a.m.

A friend of a young mother slain along with a state trooper in northern New York says she was devoted to her son and always willing to help people.

Jerry Mikels (MY'-kuhls) says he was shocked when he heard Army Staff Sgt. Justin Walters was charged in the shooting death Sunday night of his 27-year-old wife Nichole and New York state Trooper Joel Davis. Mikels said he didn't think Justin Walters would be capable of killing his wife.

Mikels said Nichole Walters was staying at home to raise the couple's toddler-age child. He said Nichole met Justin Walters around the time she finished high school in the Syracuse area and was heading to business school.

Mikels said Nichole Walters loved animals and raised chickens and ducks on the couple's property outside Fort Drum, near the Canadian border.

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10:40 a.m.

U.S. Army officials say a soldier charged with killing his wife and a New York State Police trooper responding to a report of gunfire is a combat veteran who served two tours in Afghanistan.

Officials at Fort Drum in northern New York say 32-year-old Staff Sgt. Justin Walters, of Zeeland, Michigan, has served at the post since joining the Army in 2007. The Army says he's an infantryman who was deployed to Afghanistan for one-year tours with the 10th Mountain Division's 1st Brigade in January 2009 and again in March 2011.

Walters was charged early Monday morning with killing his wife, Nichole Walters, and Trooper Joel Davis. State police say Davis was gunned down Sunday night as he arrived at the couple's home in Theresa, near Fort Drum. Nichole Walters was found dead at the scene.

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9:25 a.m.

A New York State Police trooper who was responding to a report of gunfire in the town of Theresa, near Fort Drum, when he was shot dead had also worked for the local sheriff's office.

State police officials say 36-year-old Trooper Joe Davis was from Evans Mills in Jefferson County and was a county sheriff's deputy before becoming a trooper four years ago.

U.S. Army soldier Justin Walters has been charged with first-degree murder in Davis' slaying Sunday. Walters also has been charged with second-degree murder in the death of his wife, Nichole Walters, who was found dead at the scene.

WWNT-TV in Watertown reports Davis was a road patrol deputy for the sheriff's office before becoming a trooper. His brother is a police officer in Watertown.

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6:20 a.m.

A U.S. Army soldier has been charged with murder in the fatal shooting of a New York State Police trooper who was responding to a domestic dispute.

WWNY-TV in Watertown (http://bit.ly/2uGKca5 ) reports 32-year-old Justin Walters was clad only in shorts when he was brought to a town court around 4 a.m. Monday to be charged with first- and second-degree murder. He was ordered held without bail. Walters didn't have a lawyer at the arraignment.

State police say 36-year-old Trooper Joel Davis was gunned down while responding to a call of shots fired Sunday night at Walters' home in the town of Theresa, near the Canadian border.

Walters surrendered without incident. His wife, 27-year old Nichole Walters, also was found dead at the scene.

State police say Walters is an active duty infantryman stationed at nearby Fort Drum.

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2:35 a.m.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo says "the entire New York family grieves" for a state police trooper who was shot and killed while responding to a domestic dispute.

In a statement early Monday morning, the Democratic governor says the death of 36-year-old Trooper Joel Davis serves as "another sad reminder of the risks law enforcement officers face each day."

State police say Davis was gunned down while responding to a call of shots fired Sunday night at a home in the town of Theresa, near the Canadian border.

The suspect, 32-year-old Justin Walters, surrendered without incident. Walters' wife, 27-year old Nichole Walters, also was found dead at the scene.

State police say Walters is an active duty U.S. Army infantryman who is stationed at Fort Drum. It's unclear if he has an attorney.

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2:15 a.m.

A U.S. Army soldier is accused of shooting and killing a New York State Police trooper who was responding to a domestic dispute.

State police say the suspect, 32-year-old Justin Walters, surrendered without incident after the trooper and a woman were shot and killed Sunday night at a home in the town of Theresa, near the Canadian border.

State police say Trooper Joel Davis responded to a call of shots fired shortly after 8 p.m. Sunday. He was approaching the home when he was gunned down.

State police say a woman also was found dead at the scene. They have not released her name pending notification of her family.

Walters is an active duty U.S. Army infantryman who is stationed at Fort Drum. It's unclear if he has an attorney.