Odies D. Walker spent weeks recruiting people to rob an armored-car guard at the Lakewood Walmart in spring 2009, a witness in Walker's aggravated first-degree murder trial testified Tuesday.
Jessie Lewis, 31, spent nearly an hour on the stand recounting how Walker tried to talk him into participating in a scheme to shoot and rob a guard making his scheduled pickups at the store.
“My role was to shoot the armored guard,” Lewis testified in Pierce County Superior Court. “(Walker) showed me weapons. He showed me a 9mm and a black .45. He said, ‘Don’t worry about no guns. We got guns.’ ”
Lewis, who spent seven years in an Alabama prison for armed robbery before moving to Washington in 2007, testified he initially was interested in taking Walker up on his offer but ultimately declined.
“I changed my mind about it,” he said under questioning from deputy prosecutor Dawn Farina. “I knew somebody was going to get killed.”
That happened June 2, 2009, when two robbers entered the store and confronted Loomis employee Kurt Husted as he was carrying the day’s receipts to an armored truck waiting outside.
Calvin Finley pleaded guilty to shooting Husted, 38, and is serving a life sentence. Marshawn Turpin pleaded guilty to grabbing the money bag once Husted was down and running to a waiting car, which drove both men out of the area. Turpin awaits sentencing.
Prosecutors allege Walker, 43, was at the wheel of that car. In addition to murder, he’s charged with assault, robbery, conspiracy to commit robbery and solicitation to commit robbery.
The trial is in its second week. Walker’s ex-girlfriend, former Walmart employee Tonie Williams-Irby, testified against him last week. She previously pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the case.
Prosecutors argue Walker used inside information provided by Williams-Irby to plan and carry out the robbery.
Lewis told jurors that Walker had detailed information about the movements of the armored-car guards who picked up Walmart’s receipts, including when they arrived and the route they took inside the store.
During cross-examination, defense attorney Philip Thornton repeated Lewis’ criminal record for the jury and tried to undermine his credibility.
Thornton pointed out that Lewtestified to things Tuesday he didn’t tell police when interviewed only hours after Husted’s death.
“Are you telling this jury that your memory is better on March 15, 2011, than it was on June 2 of ’09?” Thornton asked .
“Yeah,” Lewis replied. “I remember a lot because I’ve been thinking about it.”