Murder trial underway in Bowie County

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NEW BOSTON, Texas: A Bowie County prosecutor told a jury Wednesday that Travon Walker inadvertently killed his wife with a stray bullet when he was shooting at someone else.

Assistant District Attorney Katie Carter said that Kaitlin Lee was standing in an alley, about 188 yards away, when Walker fired shots from a friend’s 9 mm handgun, one of which sruck Lee in the left side of her head. Carter explained to the jury that Walker’s alleged shooting constitutes the felony offense of deadly conduct and that if someone is killed as the result of felony conduct, the person committing the felony is guilty of murder.

Chris Shavers testified Wednesday that he called Walker to meet him in the Apache Trail/Brookwood Drive area of Texarkana, Texas, because he was planning to fight Murquan Neal. Shavers said he and Neal each have a child with the same woman and had been arguing during the day Jan. 30, 2018, and planned to face each other physically.

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Shavers said he often carried a 9 mm semi-automatic pistol and had it with him the night he went to fight Neal. Shavers said he handed the gun to Walker before he and Neal began punching.

Witnesses testified that Neal got the better of Shavers during the fistfight and that after they were pulled apart, Walker fired a shot into the air. Many witnesses testified that they were running after the first shot and did not see if someone else fired the rounds that could be heard after.

But Neal testified that he turned and looked in the direction of the gunfire after hearing the first shot and saw Walker pulling the trigger. Neal claimed he wrote an affidavit in October while in the Bowie County jail on an auto theft charge in which he denies he actually saw Walker shooting. Under questioning from Carter and from Texarkana defense attorney Josh Potter, Neal said he was just “trying to keep the peace,” with Walker when he signed the affidavit and said he saw Walker shooting the night of Lee’s death.

David Jackson, who lives on Brookwood Drive near the scene of the shooting, testified that he called 911 after finding Lee lying on a concrete apron into a drainage ditch in an alley near his house. Jackson said he went walking around after hearing the sound of gunshots.

Texarkana, Texas, Police Department Officer Jonathan Price testified that he was in the alley setting up crime scene tape after Lee was transported to a hospital when several men including Walker approached him. Price said he told Walker that a woman had been shot.

TTPD Officer Aaron Wafford testified that he was at St. Michael’s Hospital when Walker came in looking for Lee. Wafford said Walker asked repeatedly to see the gunshot victim so he could determine if it was his wife.

TTPD Sgt. Steve Shelley testified that he spoke with Walker at the hospital and that it was clear Walker had been drinking. A body camera recording showed Walker showing Shelley photos of Lee and declining to give Shelley his phone number.

TTPD Det. D.E. Evans testified that Walker gave conflicting statements during two separate interviews. Evans said Walker claimed he left Lee and his dog in the car and was walking toward the Apache Trail area when he heard shots and ran, denying that he was present at the fight.

Shavers testified that he went to Walker’s apartment on the night of the shooting and got his 9 mm pistol. Shavers said Texarkana, Texas, police later seized the gun as evidence.

The jury is expected to return to court Thursday morning to continue hearing testimony in the case. If found guilty of murder, Walker faces five to 99 years or life in prison.

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