WATERTOWN, N.Y. — A former Army sergeant is guilty of murder for shooting his wife and gunning down a state trooper answering a domestic violence call in northern New York, a jury decided on Wednesday.
Justin Walters showed no reaction when the verdict was read Wednesday morning in Jefferson County Court. WWNY-TV reports friends and relatives of victims Nichole Walters and 36-year-old Trooper Joel Davis clapped and hugged as Walters was led out in handcuffs.
Walters was found guilty of 52 counts including first-degree murder.
Defense lawyer Ed Narrow didn't challenge the fact that Walters shot his wife and Davis in his driveway in the rural town of Theresa the night of July 9, 2017, but he argued that Walters wasn't responsible for his actions due to his mental state.
The sole defense witness, a psychiatrist, said Walters suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder, childhood trauma and alcoholism.
"Defendant Walters is disappointed in the findings of the jury, but we're grateful for the time that they put in, in deliberating this matter, coming to a conclusion," Narrow said.
"I'm relieved, justice was served today and we were very, very lucky to have the quality of the case that we had," District Attorney Kristyna Mills said.
Walters was a staff sergeant with the 10th Mountain Division based at nearby Fort Drum. He served two tours in Afghanistan.
Sentencing is set for April 17.