|Stabbing victim testifies in court; case bound over |
|Posted: Wednesday, December 12, 2012 8:51 pm |
|By CHRIS MENEES |
A Greenfield man accused in the brutal stabbing of a Union City woman has been bound over to the grand jury.
Willie James Walker III, 26, appeared Tuesday in Obion County General Sessions Court for a preliminary hearing on charges of attempted second-degree murder and theft over $1,000.
The charges were levied in connection with the Oct. 11 attack of 27-year-old Christina Marie Jimerson at her former home at 611 North Division St. in Union City.
Walker had been scheduled to appear Nov. 1 for a preliminary hearing, but the court granted the defense attorney’s request for a mental evaluation at that time and the hearing was rescheduled for Tuesday.
He was initially arrested on a charge of attempted first-degree murder, but for the purpose of Tuesday’s preliminary hearing, the charge was amended to attempted second-degree murder pending analysis of his evaluation and further investigation and review. The amendment was announced by Assistant District Attorney Heard Critchlow at the start of the proceedings.
Walker, represented by Bill Randolph of the public defender’s office, wore a jail-issue black and white striped uniform and sat silently next to his attorney for the hearing before Obion County General Sessions Judge Jimmy Smith.
Miss Jimerson — who is recovering from some 60 stab wounds — was accompanied by several family members and friends, who prayed with her outside the courtroom before the proceedings.
The prosecution called Miss Jimerson to testify and she was the only person who testified during the near 30-minute hearing. Walker was not called to testify.
Miss Jimerson testified she had known Walker about a year and she said she came in contact with him the evening of Oct. 11 between 5:30 and 7 when she arranged to pick him up in Greenfield. She said they drove back to her home in Union City, where they watched a movie and then moved to her bedroom for a sexual encounter.
She said afterward, he got up, turned out the lights and stabbed her in the eye, allegedly saying nothing before the first stab occurred.
“I did not realize that he had stabbed me,” she said, testifying she sat up and began to question what had happened.
“… But all I got out was ‘what’ and he told me I was going to die,” she told the court.
She testified he threw her on the floor, with part of one of her fingers cut off in the process, and proceeded to “continually stab me.”
“I screamed a little bit, I prayed the rest of the time,” she said.
Miss Jimerson said Walker unlaced a shoe and allegedly tried to choke her, but she said she managed to get her hands beneath it to avoid choking. She said she was able to crawl to her phone, open it and dial 911, but she claimed Walker took the phone from her, knocked her in the floor and continued to stab her.
She testified Walker lifted her head and cut her face, pointing to wounds as she spoke, and then dropped her head and dragged her to the bathroom. She said as she laid there, it sounded like he washed himself in the sink and walked around the house, and she testified he also squirted alcohol all over her back.
She claimed Walker asked the location of her car keys and she told him where they could be found. He allegedly took her purse, which contained her keys, wallet, a camera and other personal items, and left in her car.
“… And I listened for him to leave,” she said. “As soon as I heard my car drive off, I proceeded to drag myself back through the house. I managed to climb up on my bed. I keep my blow dryer in my room and I grabbed my blow dryer and I busted out the window and yelled for help.”
She said Union City police broke down her door and gained entry to help her.
In response to questions from the prosecution and the defense, Miss Jimerson said she never saw what Walker allegedly used to stab her, reiterating it was dark at the time. She said she was shown a photo of a knife, but could not identify it because she never saw it.
She testified she was stabbed a total of 61 times, explaining her injuries include the loss of her right eye and the loss of half a finger on her left hand, as well as injury to a middle finger and multiple stab wounds or cuts to her neck, scalp, face, torso, back and a leg.
She was hospitalized in Memphis nearly two weeks following the attack, and she has undergone surgeries and is still receiving treatment and therapy for her injuries. Next month, she is scheduled to be fitted for a prosthetic eye.
The prosecution rested after Miss Jimerson finished her testimony and the defense opted not to present any evidence Tuesday.
As a result, Smith ordered the case bound over to the next term of the grand jury, slated for February.
During his appearance before the judge, Walker also requested a reduction in his bond — currently set at $250,000. It was denied, though, and ordered to remain the same.
Mrs. Critchlow said the state “objects strongly” to a reduction in bond and she alleged Walker has absconded before.
Smith noted Walker had some charges in Weakley County when he was taken into custody and there was a delay in his being returned to Obion County to face charges due to domestic charges pending there.
Randolph said he believes those other matters have been resolved; and Union City police investigator Susan Andrews said Weakley County General Sessions Court records show Walker received time served, six days, for two counts of domestic violence, two counts of failure to appear and one count of violation of probation for alleged prior offenses there.
Mrs. Andrews, who was seated next to Mrs. Critchlow throughout the hearing, also told the judge she was told it allegedly took authorities over a year to find Walker on another case.
Smith said Walker’s history “is just too great for the court to not set a substantial bond.”
“… And, to be quite honest with you, this is the most heinous allegations of crime that I have dealt with since I’ve sat on the bench, so I think that bond is certainly more than reasonable under the circumstances,” the judge said.
Staff Reporter Chris Menees may be contacted by email at cmenees@ ucmessenger.com.
Published in The Messenger 12.12.12