Soldier accused of conspiring to kill wife pleads not guilty

AP News
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Posted: Nov 05, 2015 9:15 PM

HONOLULU (AP) — An Army medic in Honolulu pleaded not guilty Thursday after a federal grand jury indictment charged him with conspiring with his lover to kill his wife.

Sgt. Michael Walker was arraigned on murder and other charges in the death of Catherine Walker, who was found stabbed multiple times in their home at Aliamanu Military Reservation last November.

Co-defendant Ailsa Jackson was arrested in April in Indiana and extradited to Honolulu. The indictment accuses Jackson of using a key left outside the Walkers' back door to enter the home, grabbing a knife from the kitchen and killing Walker in a bedroom where she slept.

Jackson also has pleaded not guilty, but court records filed after Walker's arraignment indicate she will change her plea on Nov. 20.

The indictment alleges Michael Walker and Jackson exchanged emails and text messages about carrying out the killing at a time when he would be at work and making it look like a burglary.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jill Otake said the government won't seek the death penalty. Hawaii doesn't have the death penalty, but it's possible in federal cases.

Prosecutors want Walker detained without bail.

"He's understandably distressed. Very, very distressed," Walker's court-appointed attorney, Birney Bervar, said after the arraignment.

Bervar said Jackson is making a deal with prosecutors at the expense of his client: "It's always suspicious when a defendant implicates somebody else in order to reduce their sentence."

Jackson's federal public defender didn't immediately return messages seeking comment.

Walker has been assigned to Tripler Army Medical Center in Honolulu since 2013 and has been deployed once to Afghanistan and twice to Iraq.

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