Houston News & Search
A homeless man has been sentenced to two life sentences after admitting to killing his father and another man and burning their bodies in an abandoned warehouse in northwest Houston.
Jamie Walter, 29, of Spring, confessed to the killings in 2015 but insisted he did not kill a third man whose body was also burned in the same barrel, his lawyer, James Stafford, said Thursday.
“It’s morbid, and it’s crazy,” Stafford said. “A Hollywood screenwriter couldn’t make this stuff up.”
Walter, who has a history of mental health problems, was arrested in September 2015. But prosecutors said the web of crimes was hard to investigate because almost everyone involved was part of the homeless community. They knew each other from the streets, usually not with full names.
In a statement to police, Walter said that he, his girlfriend and two other men were sitting around a campfire at a homeless encampment near Antoine in April 2015 when the woman stabbed a man she believed had killed her ex-boyfriend weeks earlier.
Walter said he killed the other man with a hammer because he was a witness.
The two bodies were originally dumped in a field, but days later, Walter and his uncle put the remains in plastic bags and took them to the warehouse on a makeshift trailer behind the uncle’s bicycle, Stafford said.
“They’re on surveillance video with the bike and the trailer, walking past a Shell station,” Stafford said. “My client was walking a pit bull.”
Months later, Walter killed his father, Steven Walter, during an argument, his lawyer said.
Walter then burned his father’s body in the same burn barrel in the warehouse at Todd Road near Antoine. He gave different accounts of how he committed the murder.
In September 2015, his girlfriend contacted police. She accused Walter of hitting her in the head with a hammer and slashing her leg with a machete.
To bolster her claims of domestic violence, she told police about the slayings and led them to the burn barrel and the ashes of the three men, investigators said.
Prosecutors said she was not charged because there was no evidence, other than Walter’s statement, that she was involved.
“She’s denied involvement in the murder; she just admits to being present,” Assistant Harris County District Attorney Samantha Knecht said.
Walter pleaded guilty Wednesday to murder and aggravated assault of a family member, both first-degree felonies with a maximum punishment of life in prison.
Knecht said she was pleased with the deal.
“I’m happy that he’s taking responsibility,” she said.
Walter, who has “God’s Soldier” tattooed on his throat, is unlikely to see parole, his lawyer said.
“My client’s I.Q. is way down the chart, and he’s been in and out of mental institutions since the age of 12,” Stafford said. “With two life sentences, he’ll never make parole.”
Houston News & Search