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“Road Rage” Murder Trial: Off-duty Cop’s Roadside Statement

“Road Rage” Murder Trial: Off-duty Cop’s Roadside Statement

MD State Trooper recounts Walker’s initial narrative of shooting while still at the scene; police sketch notes distances involved

Today we have two additional pieces of evidence from the Maryland “road rage” murder trial of off-duty NJ police officer Joseph Walker in the shooting death of Joseph Harvey, Jr.

The first is a supplement report produced by the Maryland State Police in which State Trooper Robert Henry recounts what Walker told him at the scene of the events leading up to the shooting. A copy of this report is embedded at the bottom of this post.

The second piece of evidence is a police sketch of the positions of the two vehicles at the side of the road, as well as blood splatter and bullet casings, with various distance measurements indicated. This, too, is embedded at the bottom of this post.

MD State Police Supplement Report

The supplement report captures the interview of State Trooper Robert Henry, who spoke with Walker at the scene of the shooting, by Maryland State Police Lead Investigator Myles Roy. Henry’s recounting of his actions arriving at the scene and his discussion with Walker are captured in bullet-point fashion, and I’ll summarize the more important of those here. (Actual quotes from the report are in block quotes, and all images were created by me.)

Responding to a “Priority 1” shooting call, Henry arrived at the scene to see two other Maryland State Troopers already on the scene. In the report Walker is repeatedly referenced as “the off duty police officer,” and immediately upon being contacted by Henry Walker displayed his badge and advised that he was an LEO from New Jersey.

Walker [Kia] advised he was stationary at the left turn signal to turn left onto MD Rt. 3 from eastbound Rt. 175. The victim’s vehicle [Honda] was in the right left turn lane next to his van.

When the light turned green, both vehicles made the left turn, however the victim’s [Honda] turned into the path of the [Kia].

Screen Shot 2014-03-13 at 12.36.23 PM

This caused the [Kia] to go onto the shoulder. As Walker tried to get back into his lane, he noticed the other vehicle wouldn’t allow him back into the lane.

Walker lowered his window and said, “What are you doing, let me back in.”

A quick thought:  Walker was in the driver’s seat of the Kia, with the Honda to his right.  So as described Walker would have necessarily lowered his wife’s window to communicate across the width of his own to Harvey.  I find it difficult to imagine myself doing this.  Also, I would expect the window of the Honda Accord to be somewhat lower than that of the Kia minivan, such that from the vantage point of the Kia driver it’s not clear to me that much of the Honda’s driver’s side window would be viewable. If anyone has a Kia and the opportunity to park it alongside an Accord, I’d be interested in your observations on this point.

Racial Animus Enters the Record with Harvey’s Alleged Use of N-word

As the report continues, we see the claimed racial malice of Harvey enter the record:

The driver of the [Honda] (Joseph Harvey) replied, “Fuck you nigger, I ain’t afraid of you.”

Walker advised he stated, “I’m police, just back away, get away.”

Walker Oddly Decides to Accelerate Ahead of Harvey’s Vehicle

Then Walker says he did something which would be totally counter to my own likely reaction in such a situation:

Walker further advised he accelerated his vehicle to get in front of Harvey’s vehicle. Once in front he proceeded to the right lane.

It is invariably my policy at even the slightest hint of a road rage interaction that I encourage the other drive to go on ahead.  That way I can keep him under observation, and if the opportunity presents I can turn off the road and disappear such that he would have to physically backtrack in order to deliberately pursue me–a pursuit which would contribute considerably to my reasonable fear.

Walker stated Harvey’s vehicle was tailgating at this point.  Walker stated he was traveling towards Veteran’s Highway and at the last second he was going to merge back toward I-97 hoping Harvey’s vehicle would continue down Veteran’s Highway.

Once Walker’s vehicle went onto the merge to I-97, Harvey’s vehicle followed, still tailgating.

At this point the two vehicles would be traveling along the lengthy left-lane ramp from Rt. 3 onto I-97 (indicated in photo by white rectangle).  A car remaining in the right lane of Rt. 3 would proceed on to Veteran’s Highway.

Screen Shot 2014-03-13 at 1.41.30 PM

Walker Decides He’d Rather Let Harvey Go On Ahead, After All

Walker decided to pull his vehicle to let Harvey’s vehicle go hoping this would end it. Once he pulled over he heard the tires hit the rumble strips. Walker thought he had a flat tire.

So, NOW walker decided it would be better to have Harvey at his 12 o’clock rather than his 6 o’clock.  Note that had he previously allowed Harvey to go ahead, Walker’s maneuver to break contact by suddenly transiting onto I-97 would have been far more likely to be successful.

Also, I can’t but note that driving across a rumble strip does not sound all that much like a flat tire–although, in fairness it’s been a couple of decades since I’ve experienced a flat tire.

Walker Fails to Observe Harvey and Pidel Traverse 164 Feet of Roadway

Once he stopped, Walker exited his van and went to the back to inspect the tires.  Since none of the back tires were flat, he proceeded to the front of the ban to check the front tires.  While inspecting the front tires, Walkers wife yelled to Walker advising the guys from the vehicle were approaching.

Hmmm. In the immediate aftermath of a frightening confrontation that arguably endangered both himself and his family, Walker seems oddly incurious about the location of his antagonists.  Even if he had necessarily broken observation while he looked at his rear tires, it seems unimaginable than when walking from the rear of the minivan to the front that he would not raise his eyes and observe Harvey’s vehicle as well as Harvey and Pidel approaching, rather than need to be warned of their advance by his wife.

Walker Surprised to Find Harvey, Pidel Within 10 Feet of Him

When he turned around, the two occupants of Harvey’s vehicle were within ten (10) feet of him.

So, well within the “Tueler 21-feet,” then. Again, very hard to understand how they would close the ~150 feet distance between the vehicles and not be observed by Walker until they were merely 10 feet away.

Walker pulled out his badge and identified himself as a police officer. Walker told the two gentlemen (Harvey and Pidel) “go away”.

Harvey replied “Fuck you nigger, I ain’t afraid of you.”

Walker advised he pulled out his gun and started walking backwards toward the driver’s door.

At this point, Harvey started to charge at Walker. Walker felt his life and the life of his family was in danger so he fired his weapon.

Walker advised he fired his weapon 2, 3, or 4 times.

Walker Claims He Did  Not Retrieve Gun Until Last Few Moments

Interestingly, Trooper Henry suggests that Walker had not displayed his gun up until this point–such that he was not, as has been speculated, holding his gun at ready watching Harvey traverse the 150 feet to him.  Further, it appears that although Walker was carrying his pistol on his person, he was doing so in perhaps the least accessible manner possible, particularly for a 45ACP handgun.

When Cpl. Henry was talking to Walker about firing his weapon, Walker motioned as if he retrieved his weapon from a right ankle holster.

Having some experience wearing a S&W J-frame in an ankle holster, I found this manner of carry neither very comfortable, nor very concealable (admittedly a lesser concern for a cop), nor very accessible (and requiring a serious compromise of mobility while the weapon was being accessed).  Of course, that’s merely my personal experience.  People still buy ankle holsters, so I presume somebody out there likes them.

Nevertheless, it is simply unimaginable to me that with two larger antagonists confronting him from only 10 feet away, that they would simply stand there while Walker lifted his right ankle to retrieve his pistol or (more properly) went to his left knee to retrieve the pistol. As I imagine the necessary motions and personal dynamics, I find my credulity dangerously strained.

Also interesting:

Walker never mentioned anything about the second occupant (Pidel).

We know that technically this is not correct, as the Trooper earlier referenced Walker recounting  that “the two occupants of Harvey’s vehicle were within ten (10) feet of him.”  So, Walker did mention Pidel.

Nevertheless, one can’t help but feel that if he had perceived Pidel as roughly equally as threatening as Harvey–a perception that would contribute, perhaps, to a disparity of force fear of death or grave bodily harm–then Walker would have mentioned as much to Henry.

Certainly, if I’d been compelled to go to my gun against unarmed attackers specifically because there were more of them than me, I’d probably be talking about little else than the fact that there’d been more of them than me.

In any case, that wraps up the substantive portion of Trooper Henry’s report.

In the spirit of an excess of caution, I want to note the obvious:  the words being attributed to Walker by Henry in this report are just that–words being attributed to Walker by Henry.  This report was not based on a recorded statement by Walker (although Henry’s statement to Investigator Roy was recorded), nor was Walker given the opportunity to review or correct any errors or omissions in this report.  If asked, Walker might well object to any number of the statements attributed to him by Henry as being incorrect or misleading.

Police Sketch of Vehicles, Harvey’s Blood, Brass Casings

The next exhibit, labelled F, is a police sketch of the scene showing the location and position of the two vehicles–a measured 164 feet distance from driver’s door to driver’s door, with Harvey’s blood spatter 7′ 9″ from the front of the Kia’s bumper.  One shell casing was found by the Kia’s passenger-side front wheel, which seems a reasonable location for ejection from a semi-auto pistol fired by the driver’s side of the car.

The other shell casing was found a full 18′ from the front of the Kia’s bumper, well past the site of blood splatter.  This is clearly NOT a reasonable location for ejection from a semi-auto pistol fired by the driver’s side of the car, but a kicked piece of brass can travel a considerable distance along a hard surface.

OK, that’s it for today’s “road rage” post.  I have another half-dozen pieces of evidence to post on, and plan to move through all of those over the course of the weekend–so keep your eyes here for daily updates on evidence from the Walker trial.

–-Andrew, @LawSelfDefense


Andrew F. Branca is an MA lawyer and the author of the seminal book “The Law of Self Defense, 2nd Edition,” available at the Law of Self Defense blog, Amazon.com (paperback and Kindle), Barnes & Noble (paperback and Nook), and elsewhere.

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Comments

“Interestingly, Trooper Henry suggests that Walker had not displayed his gun up until this point–such that he was not, as has been speculated, holding his gun at ready watching Harvey traverse the 150 feet to him. Further, it appears that although Walker was carrying his pistol on his person, he was doing so in perhaps the least accessible manner problem, particularly for a 45ACP handgun.”

And Pidel recounted seeing the gun brandished in from of Mrs. Walker’s face.

So. Naw.

“Nevertheless, it is simply unimaginable to me that with two larger antagonists confronting him from only 10 feet away, that they would simply stand there while Walker lifted his right ankle to retrieve his pistol or (more properly) went to his left knee to retrieve the pistol). As I imagine the necessary motions and personal dynamics, I find my credulity dangerously strained.”

Yeppers.

Further, it appears that although Walker was carrying his pistol on his person, he was doing so in perhaps the least accessible manner problem, particularly for a 45ACP handgun.

Typo alert.

This is the only one which makes the text confusing.

Did Walker state somewhere in there that he was unaware that Harvey’s car had pulled over as well? It seems to be implied, but if it’s explicitly stated, I missed it.

If Walker can establish that he was unaware that Harvey had stopped, and also that he remained unaware that Harvey and Pidel were approaching, that would certainly help on the “failure to flee” problem, as Walker wouldn’t have known that he should be busy making a getaway instead of admiring his tires.

Though as usual, the dreaded “reasonable man” intrudes. Mr Reasonable Man would have been paying attention to the problem (the Accord) not to the window dressing (the tires).

    Ragspierre in reply to tom swift. | March 13, 2014 at 8:36 pm

    Fun practical experiment…

    I can determine in 5 seconds that all 4 of my tires are inflated.

    Double that just for fun, and I’m back in my car in plenty of time.

      tom swift in reply to Ragspierre. | March 13, 2014 at 8:54 pm

      The thing I consider unlikely is not so much a leisurely episode of tire inspection as Walker’s situational unawareness. Pulled over on the side of the ramp is a very dangerous place to be. Whenever I have to do it (the highway, at least – I wouldn’t stop on a ramp even if my wheel had fallen off) I look at the road at regular short intervals (2-3 seconds, max) to be sure no other traffic is approaching. I once passed a scene of a guy hit by a passing car while changing a tire; this gave me a lasting appreciation of the merits of vigilance. So, were I in Walker’s place, I’d have known damn well that there was another car (in fact, my nemesis) stopped 150 feet away.

      Of course Walker has no actual obligation to be observant. But if he isn’t, my skepticism goes up a notch or two.

        Ragspierre in reply to tom swift. | March 13, 2014 at 9:11 pm

        Plus, the idea that a car sticking like glue through a “last minute (second)” change of direction somehow manages not to wind up BEHIND you, as it’s been for some (reported) time?

        Not to say it could not happen, but LEO daddy had everything that was not WELL secured on his front windshield when that was over. IF true…

        And there is just nothing in the record so far that indicates any “blue smoke” kind of maneuvering on either part.

        Just FYI…big truckers who find themselves crowded out of truck stops will often spend the night on an on-ramp. Slow speeds, and plenty of time for seeing a big truck as people enter. Usually plenty of room to get off the ROW, too. Check it out when you’re on an interstate at 2:00 am…!!!

        Whenever I’ve been pulled off on the shoulder of a major roadway with traffic I’m concerned about what’s coming up behind me. I’ve never seen a case where a vehicle positioned in front backed up and ran into someone checking out the car behind. In the length of time involved Walker’s statement, if that’s what he said, is possibly not as far fetched as it once seemed.

          Gremlin1974 in reply to 49erDweet. | March 14, 2014 at 11:25 am

          No what it far fetched is a trained and experienced Police Officer is claiming to have basically zero situational and tactical awareness seconds after being involved in a road rage incident that was concerning enough to make him leave the road.

          Instead of pulling off and watching Harvey’s car drive away until it could no longer be seen, which is what any reasonable person would have done before ever exiting their vehicle. Instead he is claiming that he is so ignorant that he thought rumble strips, which are plainly visible by the way, so he should have known he was driving on them, were a flat tire. So instead of making sure his purported attacker was safely continuing on his way, he immediately jumped from his Vehicle to check for a flat?

          I understand this is a second hand report of Walkers statements, but man I hope he has something better than this by the time it makes it to court.

          I’m not even gonna go into the whole drawing from an ankle holster with 2 large men within 10 feet, I can’t afford the nose bleed right now.

    Baker in reply to tom swift. | March 14, 2014 at 2:07 am

    And consider the Reasonable Woman. Here’s a wife who has been through all this road rage event sitting in the front seat with her kids in the back and she has no idea that the Honda containing the man who has been tormenting her has stopped 150ft in front of her and that the two men have gotten out and are walking toward her and her family.

    Are we to believe the first thing Det Walker hears is something on the order of “Honey, I think these two men might want to talk to you.” And then he turns around to find Harvey 10 feet from him.

    Not in my family. Nope. Not in my family.

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to tom swift. | March 15, 2014 at 4:13 am

    Let’s not forget Walker’s statement to 9-1-1 that “they pulled us over.”

    Walker did something in a fit of anger that he gave into. After the shooting, he realized he was in deep and started grasping for plausible explanations. That’s why his stories differ so widely and probably why he was reluctant to tell dispatch that he was off-duty and from out of state. His first words to dispatch was repeating what his wife first said, “A police officer has been attacked.”

    He was obfuscating from the git-go.

I really have suspicions about the vehicle actions here, stuff like the window and yeling let me back in does not add up.
as far as accelerating in front, I have done that when needed too, lot depends on the vehicles involved. if you’re quicker and you think the guy will continue to cause problems then presenting the rear of car is sometimes safer. no one answer is right there, terrain/vehicle/driver training all contribute. my car can survive 70mph rear ends,but a truck hitting the front/front quarter would annihilate it.
but then the flat tire story…this bugs me.
up to now I have said I think his recounting made more sense….until now.
something ain’t right there…really need to keep a close eye on this part.

    tom swift in reply to dmacleo. | March 13, 2014 at 9:51 pm

    The yelling is a bit weird. Walker stated (or the police report says he stated) that Harvey said the same thing to him twice (the “F– you n– etc” sentence), once in the car and once after Walker displayed his badge. Mildly strange, if accurate. Did Harvey really say it? Was Walker (or the officer) just a bit confused while taking down the statement? Is Walker the kind of guy who just “hears” that sort of thing all the time? At this stage, hard to say.

    I have done that when needed too, lot depends on the vehicles involved

    Yes, I’d say, “it depends”. With advancing age I’m coming around to the view that dropping behind is probably wiser in most situations, and maybe during a Full Family Outing that would probably change to all situations.

It seems an odd tale, but then this is the trooper’s recollection of what Walker said, so it’s not verbatim. The trooper could have misunderstood or didn’t remember properly.

One MORE reason why you should never talk to police. You’d think a cop would know better — especially one who works for a prosecutor’s office.

    I disagree that one should never talk to the police in the aftermath of a self-defense encounter–evidence and witnesses tend to disappear if not secured promptly, and sometimes the only person who can point them out is you–but certainly there’s no reason to engage in this kind of “here’s the whole story of how it went down” diatribe.

    –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

      Estragon in reply to Andrew Branca. | March 14, 2014 at 12:33 am

      It takes a disciplined person to advise officers that “there are shell casings in the grass by the shoulder,” or “the man in the yellow shirt tossed something in the sewer by that tree,” or “the couple in the red Cambry saw it all,” and not give any account of the events which could be used against themselves in the process.

      An oldie-but-goody discussion of WHY: http://youtu.be/6wXkI4t7nuc

      MouseTheLuckyDog in reply to Andrew Branca. | March 14, 2014 at 12:40 am

      Never never talk to the police without a recording device present and running. Period.

      To do so is to place yourself in the mercy of what he says, even if he misremembers or deliberately lies.

        “Never never talk to the police without a recording device present and running. Period.”

        Awesome advice.

        Do that in MA and you’ll do jail time simply for that recording. Period.

        Any other “advice”?

        –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

          MouseTheLuckyDog in reply to Andrew Branca. | March 14, 2014 at 1:28 am

          I did not mean surreptitiously recording. Simply that I would tell the officer, “I am not going to say anything unless it is recorded.”

          MouseTheLuckyDog in reply to Andrew Branca. | March 14, 2014 at 1:46 am

          Massachussets?
          From Gilk vs Boston DCA 1st district:

          The filming of government officials engaged in their duties in a public place, including police officers performing their responsibilities, fits comfortably within these principles [of protected First Amendment activity].

          Secretly recording may get you in trouble, but openly recording cops does not. Well in the 1st and 9th districts.

          Though that is not what I meant. I meant that if telling the police anything, you should insist your words are recorded, or say nothing. If something you say is held against you, at lesty make sure that it is something you actually said.

          CharlieMack in reply to Andrew Branca. | March 14, 2014 at 2:22 am

          That is a little bit snarky. Not like you.
          How about if you said, “Officer may I record this conversation for the sake of accuracy. Is that OK?”
          If it is OK, do you think it is a good idea ?
          I think not.

          tom swift in reply to Andrew Branca. | March 14, 2014 at 3:17 am

          On the few occasions when I’ve heard an LEO give an ostensibly verbatim account of what someone said during an encounter I witnessed, what he said sure as hell didn’t bear much resemblance to what I heard the person say.

          But I have no grand theory about what to do about it.

          What I learned from that is that I have no obvious reason to believe what an LEO says. I suspect that after some lapse of time LEOs simply confuse the large number of similar incidents they’re involved in, but maybe I’m being overly generous about that.

          BrokeGopher in reply to Andrew Branca. | March 14, 2014 at 10:54 am

          Andrew can correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think your recording would do you any good. You can’t offer it as evidence as it is self-serving hearsay, and the state doesn’t have to offer it if they can have the interviewer testify to what you said.

          Where I practice law, a recording of that nature made without the officer’s permission would get me jail time. Especially if the recording was of an officer.

          I don’t claim great expertise on the rules of evidence outside of MA, however. I do know most states are not as strict about such recordings as is the Commonwealth.

          Incidentally, a recording would not seem to me to qualify as hearsay, and self-serving testimony is allowed all the time. 🙂

          –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

          Ragspierre in reply to Andrew Branca. | March 14, 2014 at 11:25 am

          If your evidence isn’t self-serving, why the hell would you offer it?

          Recordings are problematic from a hearsay POV, but can be argued in under an exception to hearsay. Not doing criminal work I dunno, but it seems a LEO is an agent of the state (which is a party opponent) and so here in Texas what they say is not hearsay at all. Again, that seems right, but I have no experience.

          But ALWAYS a recording is good for impeachment, if it comes to that.

          steveo1 in reply to Andrew Branca. | March 14, 2014 at 12:11 pm

          I disagree with your analysis of the MA wiretap law. As long as you inform the leo that you are recording that’s enough even if he disagrees. 5th Amendment needs to be used more in these cases because we all the the right to due process. See this scholarly article by law professors on due process right to record. http://flliberty.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/due-process-right-to-record.pdf

          “Photography Is Not A Crime” (PINAC) has some guidelines to follow when filming police:
          http://photographyisnotacrime.com/2013/06/20/ten-rules-for-recording-cops/

          Also, Instapundit Glenn Reynolds on Why it’s Important to Film the Police (via Reason):
          http://reason.com/blog/2011/09/05/instapundit-glenn-reynolds-on

        JackRussellTerrierist in reply to MouseTheLuckyDog. | March 14, 2014 at 4:36 pm

        You can’t be serious.

        Walker is at least in the position of claiming “That’s not what I said” in reference to the officer’s report. If this ridiculous, dumb-assed tale of his had been recorded, he would do better to take any half-way decent deal the prosecutor were to offer.

        How an investigator for a prosecutor’s office couldn’t think on his feet better than coming up with this crack-pot tale about pulling over to check for a flat because he drove over the perfectly visible rumble strips is just stunning. It’s a total crock of shit to anybody with two firing brain cells, and that’s not the only part of it that stinks to high heaven.

      Gremlin1974 in reply to Andrew Branca. | March 14, 2014 at 1:36 pm

      Actually Massad Ayoob has a great video on youtube on the 5 things you should say to an officer after an event. Can’t get the link right now, but I will find it and post it later.

      JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Andrew Branca. | March 15, 2014 at 4:27 am

      If Zimmerman hadn’t talked to the police, he probably would have been much worse off during trial. But the Zimmerman case was a righteous shoot. In Walker’s case, shutting up and letting his story to dispatch stand might have been a better course. But then the responding officers would have been very suspicious of that and it wouldn’t look like a righteous shoot. Walker painted himself into a corner with his varying renditions. Really bad move.

    Phillep Harding in reply to BrokeGopher. | March 14, 2014 at 1:13 pm

    How many police cars were in the area? How many dash cams? The dash cam footage I see on TV includes voices, so I’m a bit puzzled that there is no voice recording of the interview.

      Gremlin1974 in reply to Phillep Harding. | March 15, 2014 at 10:12 am

      There very well may be and we just haven’t seen it as of yet. Remember this is a Defense Motion to Dismiss that is public record, it doesn’t contain every piece of evidence.

I’m struck by the seeming fact, both here and in Pidel’s account, that Harvey stopped his advance briefly.

By this account it was when Walker showed his badge and told Harvey (and Pidel?) to go away.

This would account for Walker being able to draw the weapon despite Harvey’s proximity. Having been a former beat cop, Walker may well have routinely carried an ankle back up and is probably capable of retrieving it fairly fluidly.

As for when the gun was displayed first: if on the highway, then that takes away the narrative of ‘black guy wants to fool ‘n word’ spewing white guy to come to a gun fight with no gun.’

If just before the shooting, then it raises the question of was Harvey really nuts enough to bull rush an armed cop from a stopped position?

Pidel will say, I presume, that Harvey did not make the rush, while Walker will say he did.

And therein is the reasonable doubt, because Pidel is verifying that Harvey is nuts enough to pull over and traverse to confront a man he knows is armed.

So why wouldn’t Harvey be nuts enough to make the final bull rush?

To me, it seems quite consistent with the rest of his behavior.

And it Pidel recants about the brandished weapon, then he cant be believed in his assertion that Harvey did not bull rush Walker.

Ample reasonable doubt at every turn.

    Ragspierre in reply to bildung. | March 13, 2014 at 9:18 pm

    “And therein is the reasonable doubt, because Pidel is verifying that Harvey is nuts enough to pull over and traverse to confront a man he knows is armed.”

    Except Pidel saw the gun brandished PAST Harvey’s shoulder (in Mrs. Walker’s face), behind Harvey as he was driving.

    Do you read?

      tom swift in reply to Ragspierre. | March 13, 2014 at 9:24 pm

      As I recall, Pidel’s statement doesn’t say that he ever told Harvey that he believed he had seen a gun being brandished by someone in Walker’s van.

      But Pidel did say that later, Harvey stopped moving toward Walker after he saw the gun, as if Harvey was surprised by the appearance of a new factor into the situation.

      There seems to be no testimony so far that Harvey knew that Walker was armed.

        Ragspierre in reply to tom swift. | March 13, 2014 at 9:28 pm

        As I recall, Pidel doesn’t say he told his bud much of anything at all during the driving part of the gymkhana.

          tom swift in reply to Ragspierre. | March 13, 2014 at 9:41 pm

          Yes, by his story he wasn’t playing back seat driver (or side seat driver), but leaving everything up to Harvey.

      bildung in reply to Ragspierre. | March 13, 2014 at 9:52 pm

      So we’ve got a rolling confrontation here, Pidel sees a gun brandished, or believes he does, and not only says nothing about it to the main party but advances towards the gun himself?

      So Aggressor #2 is unquestionably to type to advance on someone he ‘believes’ to be armed and we can therefore draw the conclusion that Aggressor #1 is too.

      How do you think Pidel will come off on the stand when Walker’s attorney zeroes in on this rather gigantic
      ‘failure to communicate’?

      Whose credulity is strained now?

        To me, Pidel’s testimony is worthless, entirely non-credible, and self-serving. I discount it completely.

        Still doesn’t get Walker to self-defense. And Walker’s on-site testimony to MSP doesn’t help him much.

        –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

          Ragspierre in reply to Andrew Branca. | March 13, 2014 at 10:31 pm

          We’ll know from which (if any) side calls Pidel as a witness.

          I find him more credible than our LEO buddy, and none of his actions inexplicable.

          Bildung (our trial expert/telekinetic psychiatrist) has all the testimony sussed out.

          So…

          We. Will. See.

          Gremlin1974 in reply to Andrew Branca. | March 15, 2014 at 10:17 am

          I agree. Frankly, I think he felt that with his felony past he would end up being charged with something and therefore tried to paint himself in the best possible light. Which doesn’t go a long way towards exposing the truth.

        Ragspierre in reply to bildung. | March 13, 2014 at 10:03 pm

        Not yours, for sure.

        You have none.

        tom swift in reply to bildung. | March 13, 2014 at 10:38 pm

        I don’t think Pidel saw a gun in Walker’s van. He may have reconstructed a memory later, after he became aware that Walker in fact had a gun. It he had really seen one when he said he did, it seem inconceivable that he wouldn’t have said something about it to Harvey at the time, and that he wouldn’t have mentioned it again when Harvey exited the Accord. It’s certainly a very weak point in Pidel’s narrative.

        But I don’t think I’d apply the word “unquestionably” to anything about this case.

        nomadic100 in reply to bildung. | March 14, 2014 at 12:11 am

        Alcohol

        More than that, even, is the illogic of Pidel having seen a gun to get out of the Honda and keep pace with Harvey going purposely back toward the Kia, where someone is supposedly known by Pidel to be armed. Pidel’s story stinks.

          tom swift in reply to 49erDweet. | March 14, 2014 at 3:20 am

          Pidel’s story stinks.

          That part of it does, at least.

          Overall, I don’t expect either Walker’s or Pidel’s stories to be terribly objective or accurate.

        Gremlin1974 in reply to bildung. | March 15, 2014 at 10:28 am

        “So Aggressor #2 is unquestionably to type to advance on someone he ‘believes’ to be armed and we can therefore draw the conclusion that Aggressor #1 is too.”

        Actually, no you can’t draw any conclusions about 1 persons behavior by saying basically saying; “well his friend did it”. Anybody with a basic psychology degree can tear that argument to shreds.

    Gremlin1974 in reply to bildung. | March 15, 2014 at 10:24 am

    “Walker may well have routinely carried an ankle back up and is probably capable of retrieving it fairly fluidly.”

    Maybe, but this was his “service weapon” which I believe is a S&W .45, and the ability to draw a weapon from any given carry spot is very dependent upon practice, size of the weapon, clothing covering the weapon and so on. I would think this is not where Walker typically carries his “service Weapon” and it seems a bit large to be a “typical backup weapon”. So it does give me pause as to Walkers ability to draw his weapon “fluidly”, not saying it isn’t possible.

“Having been a former beat cop, Walker may well have routinely carried an ankle back up and is probably capable of retrieving it fairly fluidly.”

You said it yourself. Every cop I’ve ever known used an ankle holster, it was their back-up gun, for when they were on the ground, disarmed of their primary weapon.

Which means, effectively, that they practiced with it 1/100th the time they practiced with their primary weapon, which for most cops is 2-4 times a year.

i don’t anticipate any “fluidity” in Walker’s ankle holster draw.

I’ve actually shot BUG (back-up gun) matches where ankle holsters and appropriately sized guns were the norm. There’s not presentation that anyone is making from an ankle holster that an alert aggressor 10 feet away isn’t going to shove down your throat.

And if the ankle holster was the backup, where was Walker’s primary weapon?

Of course, the whole ankle holster thing is a presumption by the Trooper Henry, Walker never made that explicit, so it may all be a dead end.

–Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

    ThomasD in reply to Andrew Branca. | March 13, 2014 at 9:27 pm

    What make/model pistol was used in the shooting? What make/model holster does Walker purport to be wearing? Did any of the officers present observe a holster? Could they identify it, if seen again?

    I am not aware of any commercially made ankle holsters for medium or full size duty pistols. Most are only made for small (j frame size) revolvers or compact automatics. If this was a Glock 36 or 39 maybe it’s credible, anything larger and it is a stretch.

    But even if not in an ankle holster, the presence of a holster is not quite a dead end yet, because in the absence of some sort of suitable holster it is questionable how Walker came to have his pistol given that he ‘got out to check for flat tires.’

    Unless he normally inspects his vehicle with a drawn weapon…

    That the officers on scene did not attempt to nail down these specific details strikes me as very favorable treatment of a self confessed shooter.

      “Most are only made for small (j frame size) revolvers or compact automatics. If this was a Glock 36 or 39 maybe it’s credible, anything larger and it is a stretch.”

      Agreed.

      “But even if not in an ankle holster, the presence of a holster is not quite a dead end yet, because in the absence of some sort of suitable holster it is questionable how Walker came to have his pistol given that he ‘got out to check for flat tires.’”

      Meh. It would be difficult for me to check for a flat tire WITHOUT being armed, simply because my sidearm goes on with my pants in the morning. I don’t arm to check the tires, I’m simply already armed.

      Of course no idea what Walker’s normal practices were. Most cops not particularly gun savvy–most see the gun as something of an inconvenience.

      –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

        ThomasD in reply to Andrew Branca. | March 14, 2014 at 9:42 am

        “Meh. It would be difficult for me to check for a flat tire WITHOUT being armed, simply because my sidearm goes on with my pants in the morning. I don’t arm to check the tires, I’m simply already armed.”

        Yeah, I’m probably not making my thought clear. This issue is: Exactly what holster was Walker using/wearing that day? Because if the trial recollection of the officer is that Walker did make a motion consistent with an ankle holster when no ankle holster was actually present that day then we have another credibility issue.

        If no holster was present (discounted the unlikelihood of ‘Mexican’ carry) then Walker needs to explain how he came to produce the weapon so fast, or why he was ‘inspecting tires’ with a drawn handgun in the absence of a recognized threat.

        Part of me is looking at this as a matter of personal opinion/inference and part of me is looking at this as a matter of how it will play out in front of the jury.

        Either way, based on this information Walker has some problems. Neither driver is perfectly clean, but only one of them actually inflected harm on the other.

          Gremlin1974 in reply to ThomasD. | March 15, 2014 at 10:36 am

          I am sticking with my earlier assertion that I just fail to believe that a trained experienced law enforcement officer, after what is being claimed as a fairly major “road rage event”, had so little situational and tactical awareness that he didn’t notice Harvey advancing over 100 feet, until he was 10 feet away. He knew exactly where that car was, unless he is a complete and utter moron, which can’t be ruled out of course.

      tom swift in reply to ThomasD. | March 13, 2014 at 9:37 pm

      What make/model holster does Walker purport to be wearing? Did any of the officers present observe a holster?

      Good questions. I’ve tried simulations of ankle holsters for larger guns, just as an experiment, and it doesn’t work too well. Government Model/1911, Tokarev, Colt Army Special/Official Police, even Makarov – they feel like I’m walking with a brick tied to one foot. And I certainly wouldn’t even try driving with a lump like that down there.

      genes in reply to ThomasD. | March 13, 2014 at 11:11 pm

      An AMT Backup in .45 ACP fits quite well in an ankle holster. Doubt anyone would carry it for a primary. Heavy trigger pull and kicks like a mule.

        Yes, it does fit an ankle holster (still never found it comfortable or accessible), and yes it does kick like a bomb in the hand.

        I think you’d agree it’s a rare breed. And that it truly IS a backup gun–meaning, it’s there in case your primary goes down.

        –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

    Your assuming while on duty as a detective he carried another weapon. Facts not in evidence, counselor?

    I have personally carried a firearm in an ankle holster for all of my 32 years in law enforcement. During that time, I usually carried a snubbie or high cap 9mm. Now, I routinely carry an XD-45c in an ankle holster. It is a bit bulky, and slow to draw, but it is very concealable, relatively comfortable and easy to access when seated, as in a car, for example. I see no reason why Walker would not carry in such a manner. However, I think that Walker may have retrieved the firearm from within the van, rather than from his ankle.

    As to the blood spatter and location of the spent cartridges, again I see no real problem. It is all very nicely explained if we assume that Walker was standing 20-25 feet in front of his van when he fired the first shot. This would place the first shell casing at approximately the 18′ location as ejection is usually too the rear, at least slightly. If he then was retreating and Harvey was continuing to advance, the second shot could easily have been made from a point 10-6′ in front of the van, which would place the ejected cartridge at the 4′ mark. Or, Walker may have fired the second shot from closer to the front of the van with the cartridge striking the windshield or front of the van and landing in front of the van. Harvey would then have continued to advance forward, falling at the 6′ mark. This is the most logical explanation for how both shell casings came to rest on the other side of Harvey’s body, from where Walker was standing. The only other explanations are that someone [perhaps Pidel] kicked the cartridges farther down the road from the van or that Walker shot Harvey in the back as Harvey approached the van. Neither is very likely. The first can be answered by examining the conditions of the spent cartridges [they should be deformed if stepped upon and show noticeable scuffing if simply kicked. Now, the
    blood spatter” may, or may not, be blood spatter. If we assume it was, then it could easily have come from the second [or even third] shot, which would place Harvey 6-10′ from the van when shot. It is also possible that the “blood spatter” was not spatter, but blood falling from a rapidly moving body as the result of natural bleeding from a previous wound. The autopsy should shed some light in this. It will be interesting to see if a truly professional crime scene investigation was made, at the scene, or if this was done by the initial trooper.

    Remember, the least reliable evidence is testimonial evidence. People are often mistaken, their memory of events fails over time or they simply lie. Always weight physical evidence more heavily than testimonial evidence. In this case, if the evidence was not disturbed, by activity on the scene after the shooting, then it would support the theory that Walker was actually retreating from Harvey when he shot him and that Harvey was advancing upon Walker.

    More evidence has to be examined before any firm conclusions can be arrived at.

    Matthew Carberry in reply to Andrew Branca. | March 14, 2014 at 3:25 pm

    I’ve seen ankle holsters recommended as “driving holsters” as you can reach your raised ankle a little more easily than twisting to get your strong-side pistol out (never found that super difficult myself in my cars).

    Since we’re “supposin'”, if he did have it out on the road as per Pidel, then he might have Mexican-carried it to check the tires, since reholstering is more of a PIA than drawing from ankle rig. Alternately, he might have taken it from his driving carry to a more accessible position prior to getting out of the car, which would call his “unawares-ness” into question.

    Either way would explain the easy access against Harvey and him having an ankle rig.

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Andrew Branca. | March 14, 2014 at 4:51 pm

    If Walker really waited until Harvey and Pidel were about 10′ away when he supposedly crouched down to pull his ankle piece, Harvey would have had plenty of time to take a couple long, quick steps and kick Walker under the chin or square in the face if he was really intent on hurting Walker. He’d have knocked him off balance and it would have been ‘on’.

    But Harvey stopped, as did Pidel, some feet behind Harvey.

    I think that at some point before the 10′ encounter Walker showed his badge, which would give a person a false (in this case) sense that unlawful behavior by the other party would not occur.

    Pidel doesn’t say anything about Walker and an ankle holster.

    Gremlin1974 in reply to Andrew Branca. | March 15, 2014 at 10:30 am

    Also, I have seen several references to the weapon being Walkers “Service Weapon” and some kind of S&W .45, so kind of bulky for an ankle holster, imho.

Agreed, little of this makes intuitive sense, while also raising numerous alarm bells.

If Walker was the one cut off why did he attempt to maintain a parallel position to the Honda? Most people would brake and allow the other car the right of way. Doing otherwise means leaving the road or risking collision.

To maintain parallel, while rolling down the window, and calmly ‘addressing’ the other driver likewise defies belief.

Passing the Honda, while it was still in your lane, was a tremendously aggressive driving maneuver. I cannot help but think Walker was seeking to cut off the person who cut him off.

“Walker thought he had a flat tire.”

Now we’ve gone from shading the truth to one’s advantage to rank dishonesty. This is Walker laying down reasons why he didn’t just drive away.

In my opinion Walker’s credibility is now in serious trouble.

    Baker in reply to ThomasD. | March 14, 2014 at 12:33 am

    Yeah – Hard to believe the flat tire routine. You can easily see ridges. They are so prominent they are even included in the police drawing of the scene. Plus in pulling over his two right side tires would have run over them first, then a brief silence, and then his two left tires if the position of the vehicle in the scene diagram is correct.

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to ThomasD. | March 14, 2014 at 4:14 am

    It appears Walker’s statment played a role in the charges being bumped up to M1.

“Walker Surprised to Find Harvey, Pidel Within 10 Feet of Him”

I don’t buy that at all. NOt when they were walking towards him for 150 feet, and the only people there (not in vehicles) are them and him.

Harvey ‘started to charge the black guy who has just pulled out a gun on him’ ? No, I don’t buy it.

Overall, I think Walker failed to obey the most basic rule – say you want lawyer and then STFU.

    bildung in reply to pjm. | March 13, 2014 at 10:21 pm

    You may not buy it and several on the jury may not buy it; reasonable people can differ.

    But several will buy it, for the same reason, meaning no conviction.

    Walker says Harvey rushed him and there is no one to contradict it but Pidel, who according to Rags and Swift, is going to push the story that he ‘believed’ he saw a brandished gun on the highway but, remarkably, said nothing to Harvey about it.

    Do you buy that?

    And then advanced with Harvey on a man he ‘believed’ to be armed.

    The jury will never buy that Pidel said nothing to Harvey, if indeed this was his belief.

    So Pidel will be thought a liar for not informing Harvey, which will destroy his credibility.

    And he’ll probably recant the whole notion of a brandished weapon, which will make him look doubly a liar, in order to escape the trap of looking, along with Harvey, like just the kind of depraved fool who would knowingly advance on an armed man.

    In any event, this compromised and discredited ‘witness’ is the one who says Harvey did not bull rush Walker.

    Reasonable doubt all around.

      pjm in reply to bildung. | March 14, 2014 at 1:15 am

      “You may not buy it and several on the jury may not buy it; reasonable people can differ.”

      Yup.

      “Pidel …..Do you buy that?

      One would think it natural for Pidel to yell out ‘HE’S GOT A GUN!!!!”. Possibly. Unless he assumed Harvey saw it too. In these kinds of ‘stress situations’ on all sides, we should never assume ‘normal calm retrospective considered informed logical actions by all parties’. Dry cleaning bills, maybe.

      “Reasonable doubt all around.”

      Certainly, at this time in this forum anyway.

        JackRussellTerrierist in reply to pjm. | March 14, 2014 at 4:56 pm

        Pidel may have said something like “I think I saw a gun” or have said nothing because he assumed Harvey saw it, too. Maybe that’s why Pidel hung back as they approached Walker’s vehicle.

      JackRussellTerrierist in reply to bildung. | March 14, 2014 at 4:11 am

      Heh. That’s a double-edged sword. perhaps Walker also flashed his badge. If so, Harvey and Pidel may have felt safe because they were approaching a peace officer who would not be expected to shoot indiscriminately at somebody approachinghim

      Gremlin1974 in reply to bildung. | March 15, 2014 at 10:51 am

      “Walker says Harvey rushed him and there is no one to contradict it but Pidel”

      Actually, with the very limited testimony we have seen, with more to come, I don’t think this is a reasonable conclusion to make at this point. Someone, else driving by could have seen just as much as Mr. B, just in a different time frame.

    Phillep Harding in reply to pjm. | March 14, 2014 at 1:24 pm

    Uhm, making many assumptions regarding the situation, most of Walker’s attention, and his wife’s, might be on what is behind /them/ in order to avoid idiots not paying attention to where they were going.

    For the Walkers to do so would imply they thought this was /not/ a road rage situation, which would not pass the smell test, absent further information.

From the crime scene sketch, I am perplexed, if Walker is telling the truth, by the locations of shell casing E2 and E3 vis-a-vi blood splatter E1. Looks like Walker might have been approaching Harvey while firing his multiple shots?

    tom swift in reply to MarkS. | March 13, 2014 at 9:47 pm

    The sketch shows one casing near Walker’s front bumper, Harvey about 8 feet from the bumper, the second casing 18 feet from the bumper. So one casing is on either side of Harvey. It only makes sense if one of them was kicked out of position before being measured. If so, we can’t attach too much importance to where it ended up.

      JackRussellTerrierist in reply to tom swift. | March 15, 2014 at 4:48 am

      ……unless Walker advanced on Harvey in the last moments before he first fired, then moved his vehicle up a few feet to make it appear that Harvey was closer to his vehicle than he actually was when the first shot was fired, not realizing or thinking about the fact of where the casings would be located.

    BrokeGopher in reply to MarkS. | March 13, 2014 at 10:08 pm

    The shell was in the road. It could have been kicked down the road by passing traffic. The drawing just shows where it was when the cops found it.

      tom swift in reply to BrokeGopher. | March 13, 2014 at 10:28 pm

      It looks like the tips of the red arrows are meant to indicate the actual found positions of the two shells and Harvey. If so, they’re indicating that all three were still on the shoulder when measured. There are some red dots in the sketch as well but they seem to be noise. The red or blue heads without arrows indicate dimension lines.

      Gremlin1974 in reply to BrokeGopher. | March 15, 2014 at 10:55 am

      Semi-auto .45, unless it is a complete left hand conversion, ejects casings to the right of the shooter, so the casings would have flown to Walkers right, not into the road.

The more I hear the more it sounds like BS on Walker’s part for a lot of the stuff that justifies his shooting.

If Harvey is to Walker’s left on the shoulder, how does Harvey prevent him from getting back in the lane? Harvey’s on the shoulder. (And maybe on purpose or not, Walker’s hanging in the lane and keeping Harvey from getting back on the road.)

How does he manage to have any words with Harvey?

(you already mentioned this)
How does he stop to check his tires and not see that Harvey has yet to leave the scene?

How does Harvey and Pidel traverse 100+ feet to within 10feet without him seeing this until too late?

How does he manage to then get his gun drawn and fire on Harvey in what little time was left? (unless of course Harvey stopped at that point and if so then why did Walker shoot him?)

And why if he was so afeared for his life didn’t he at least take a shot at Pidel? And if they intended an assault, why didn’t Pidel reach him or get closer while Walker was shooting Harvey?

Here’s what I think went down
1. Walker screws up the turn
2. Harvey gets run off the road and starts yelling
3. Harvey gets back on the road (probably with some weaving and sliding so it looks like he was trying to hit Walker.
4. Walker pulls over and stops to let Harvey go if he wants to.
5. Harvey stops and gets out and maybe Walker backs away from them but then sees he can’t go further and gets out of the car which encourages Harvey to keep walking towards him. And maybe Walker is shouting stuff that incites Harvey. Harvey is also shouting stuff that incites Walker.
6. Harvey gets within 10 feet and Walker decides that he can’t scare him off so he shoots him. Pidel backs off or turns to attend to Harvey while Walker has the wife call 911.

Not premeditated but possible depraved indifference and certainly NOT self defense.

    tom swift in reply to jakee308. | March 13, 2014 at 10:06 pm

    If Harvey is to Walker’s left on the shoulder, how does Harvey prevent him from getting back in the lane? Harvey’s on the shoulder.

    Walker’s and Pidel’s stories about the turn are different. Both agree that it was a two-lane left turn onto a two-lane road. That should have left plenty of room for both cars to make their turns in their own lanes.

    Pidel says that Walker went into the wrong lane, forcing Harvey onto the shoulder. That would be the right-hand shoulder.

    Walker says that Harvey went into the wrong lane, forcing Walker onto the shoulder. That would be the left-hand shoulder.

    So far as I can tell from the statements, anyway.

      jakee308 in reply to tom swift. | March 14, 2014 at 5:26 am

      The diagram clearly shows Walker forced Harvey to the left side shoulder and not the right shoulder.

        tom swift in reply to jakee308. | March 14, 2014 at 5:45 am

        The diagram clearly shows Walker forced Harvey to the left side shoulder and not the right shoulder.

        You’re pixillated.

        Kia = Walker
        Honda = Harvey

        The arrows on the photo near the top of this page show the Kia (Walker) in the left lane, the Honda (Harvey) in the right. Both are left-turn lanes from Rt 175 onto Rt 3 North. The arrows show both vehicles turning left onto Rt 3 N. The Kia (Walker) ends up on the left shoulder of Rt 3, the Honda (Harvey) ends up to the right of the Kia, in the leftmost of the two northbound lanes of Rt 3.

          If you are right about Harvey ending up in leftmost lane after beginning the turn on the rightmost lane, then Harvey made a bad turn. I’m obviously confused because I thought at first Harvey was angry because Walker somehow ‘dissed him’ by cutting Harvey off during the turn.

          tom swift in reply to tom swift. | March 14, 2014 at 1:46 pm

          I’m obviously confused because I thought at first Harvey was angry because Walker somehow ‘dissed him’ by cutting Harvey off during the turn.

          That was the story according to Pidel. Walker told a different story about the same event. I expect that as we hear more from Walker we’ll have a lot more divergences.

          JackRussellTerrierist in reply to tom swift. | March 14, 2014 at 5:34 pm

          The diagram is the gospel according to Walker. Pidel’s story makes more sense – that they started with Walker in the left left-turn lane, Harvey in the right left-turn lane. They go at the same time. Walker has less distance to travel because he is making a sharper turn than Harvey has to make from the right lane, so Walker is ahead of Harvey as they are turning. Instead of turning into the left lane of the highway, Walker turns into the right lane while Harvey is behind him also heading into the right lane of the highway. It seems to me this would force Harvey to dodge Walker by straightening his turn by driving onto the right shoulder, especially if Harvey was too close to Walker to suddenly have to make a real hard left to turn into the left highway lane or left shoulder.

        To clarify – ‘…shows that Walker claims ….’

ufo destroyers | March 13, 2014 at 9:51 pm

The whole “pulling over to check on flat tire” doesn’t make much sense. Please, correct me if I’m wrong on the year, but didn’t all vehicles after the Ford Explorer/Firestone Tire debacle starting around 2003-4 have to have tire pressure monitor sensors? These are anything from an “idiot” light on the dash to full blown screens that can show you the tire pressure in all four tires. I do not recall the year of the Kia minivan, but since Kia did not start producing these until 2002, there is a better than average chance that this model has the TPMS setup. (My 2005 and 2012 cars have it but my 2002 truck did not.) A deep breath behind the wheel, collect your thoughts, and check the dash for the absence of a light and you are good to go. Unless the “rumble strip” was really the large dome-like mini-barriers that are used to keep traffic lanes separated in these on-ramp situations, there was no good reason to exit the car and check on things.

    The rumble strips are typical strips located on each side of the roadways just outside the lanes to warn you if you are leaving the roadway. If you check out the diagram of the road/cars/evidence you will see the strips shown. Both of the left side tires of Walker’s van appear to be either on the strip or right next to it.

      JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Baker. | March 14, 2014 at 4:04 am

      The rumble strips are also used to drain water away from the outer line delineating the roadway from the shoulder, thus removing glare that obscures it. So it serves two purposes for keeping drivers in the roadway.

    ufo destroyers in reply to ufo destroyers. | March 14, 2014 at 11:00 am

    Just spotted in the evidence that it was a 2009 Kia Sedona. Definitely has the TPMS alerts.

    Also when all this first started, I believe the narrative was that Walker pulled over because he thought that Harvey had thrown something out of his car and hit the van and was checking for damage. There is nothing about this story in the trooper’s report. It’s all about the rumble strips now as to why he pulled over.

    I guess we won’t have any spousal testimomy in this trial will we? She was probably screaming at Walker to stop the van and let them go the moment this escalated because the kid was in the van. Or maybe she was involved in an unladylike manner and that is what set off Harvey. We probably won’t find out since Pidel is a giant turd of a witness and Walker shouldn’t sell out his wife if she wasn’t the model of decourm in this incedent.

    Still, there’s something screwy about Walker’s narrative.

Somebody runs you off the road, calls you a ni**er, tailgates you, possibly blows your tires so you have to pull off the road – and you don’t notice them until they’re 10 feet away?

I’d sooner believe a politician running for re-election than that crap.

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Olinser. | March 14, 2014 at 5:39 pm

    LOL! 🙂

    Gremlin1974 in reply to Olinser. | March 15, 2014 at 3:07 pm

    Especially when that person is a supposedly “Trained” and “Experienced” LEO. (I add the “supposedly” because my brother who is a lawyer reminded me that just being a LEO doesn’t keep you from being a bone head, lol.)

My experience with two turn lanes is that the driver in the inner lane tends to swing out. Rarely happens the other way.

    MouseTheLuckyDog in reply to genes. | March 14, 2014 at 2:26 am

    Unless the guy on the outside is drunk.
    It could have been a little of both thought. The inside driver turns a little outward, the outside driver turns a little inward.

Walker would have been better served by refusing to answer questions and requesting a lawyer, IMHO. In this case, there was no apparent benefit to speaking to police, no evidence or witnesses to secure, etc.

The bottom line for the jury, despite all the argumentation, will be that two large, angry and aggressive men walked 150 feet back from their car to confront Walker. It boils down to does that constitute a deadly threat or not – it is not unreasonable at that point to reject retreat as not safe, if there is reasonable fear for his life and that of his family.

    tom swift in reply to Estragon. | March 14, 2014 at 2:32 am

    The bottom line for the jury, despite all the argumentation, will be that two large, angry and aggressive men walked 150 feet back from their car to confront Walker.

    But that doesn’t describe what is normally a deadly situation. Any driver will have witnessed similar encounters multiple times – drivers engaged in the ritual of swapping insurance information. It happens when cars actually collide, or when one driver thinks they’ve collided. Some of the guys involved are big, and some are pretty peeved. But no juror is likely to have seen one who was homicidal.

    Simple fact – the approach of a stranger is not routinely an implication that an attack is imminent.

    So what convinced Walker that this encounter was special, and what will he use to convince a jury?

    It’s going to take a lot more than the claim that he heard Harvey call him a [insert politically correct euphemism here].

    Walker will also have to deal with his failure to retreat. He may be counting on the flat tire story and his unawareness that Harvey and Pidel were approaching to get him out of that one, but both will need considerable elaboration to become credible.

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Estragon. | March 14, 2014 at 5:45 pm

    But when it’s a cop thinking he’s got it in the bag because he’s dealing with his own kind, plus working for a prosecutor’s office as an investigator, he’s going to figure he can give them anything plausible and it’s all good.

    The problem is that if he’s not too bright to begin with, “plausible” to him probably won’t cut the mustard. It didn’t in this case.

    Gremlin1974 in reply to Estragon. | March 15, 2014 at 3:14 pm

    “two large, angry and aggressive men walked 150 feet back from their car to confront Walker”

    I don’t think this fact helps him, I think it hurts him. He says he is checking the tires and didn’t notice them until they were within 10 feet. However, Mr. B, who’s statement is decidedly more in Walkers favor, says that Walker just stood there with his arms crossed and waited on them to approach, then drew his weapon and fired. I just can’t see that as reasonable, just wait until they are over 100 feet from their vehicle and take off or even just get back in the car and lock the doors. If Harvey is stupid enough to try and break the widow with his hand, and most likely break his hand, then shoot him. I would have less of a problem with that.

MouseTheLuckyDog | March 14, 2014 at 12:47 am

One thing that strikes me. If Walker was wearing an ankle holster while driving, then very likely Walker did not brandish the gun while driving. Can you imagine drawing with your foot on the gas or brake? Sounds like a recipe for a nasty accident.

Having carried for many years, I find it hard to believe carrying a .45 in an ankle holster. It’s my preferred caliber, but backups were always either .380 or .38+P, either in the ankle holster or in a jacket pocket. Ditto the “brick” on the ankle observation. Not something you’d carry off duty with your family in another state.

Walker’s lying about it.

    MouseTheLuckyDog in reply to ray. | March 14, 2014 at 2:06 am

    Walker never said he was carrying in an ankle holster. He just made a motion like drawing from an ankle holster in his statement to the cop.

    In any case it would have been easy for tghe op[s on the scene to verify one way or another, just ask to see the holster. It would have been a reasonable thing to do. In fact I would go so far as to say if they didn’t, then they are guilty of the police equivalent of malpractice.

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to ray. | March 14, 2014 at 2:33 am

    And not just that.

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to ray. | March 14, 2014 at 3:52 am

    re the ‘brick’, maybe he liked for people to notice he’s armed.

JackRussellTerrierist | March 14, 2014 at 2:31 am

Walker didn’t get his license to drive the day before the incident. It’s unlikely that there are many drivers at all who haven’t drifted onto a rumble strip for at least a moment or two. Is Walker saying he somehow could not see, after he stopped, the rumble strips along the roadside? In fact, couldn’t he see them if he were to simply keep driving? They aren’t short, little interjections of 3o – 40 ‘ along the road. They usually extend some miles.

This is sounding like more of Walker’s ‘the dog ate my homework’. This is really lame. I expected some earth-shattering statement that would break the case in Walker’s favo, not a series of thinly-veiled “Hail Marys.”

No police officer would ever get in front of such a person. They know better tactics than that. All Walker had to do was stay behind Harvey and break off onto the other direction at the interchange after Harvey chose a path. Harvey would have taken a lot of time to try to relocate Walker, if he were try at all, haven taken a different route.

This gets worse and worse for Walker. If Harvey pulled over first, it’s impossible that Walker didn’t see him.

    Witness B said several times that the Honda (Harvey’s car) pulled over first. He also described nothing which sounded like Walker inspecting his tires.

    Plus on the 911 call Walker says specifically the ‘they pulled us off the road’ (I presume he is trying to say ‘pulled us over’) He follows that up with ‘..when I came over off the road…him and the other individual were coming out their vehicle.”

    He saw them for sure.

      JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Baker. | March 14, 2014 at 6:44 pm

      Excellent point. That means that between the time he hung up and started talking to the cops a couple minutes later, it started to dawn on him that he might be in deep. The differing stories as to who pulled over first and why shows consciousness of guilt. I think that, of course Walker saw Harvey pull over, but by the time he talked to the cop, he realized that it would sound better if he said he pulled over first and didn’t see Harvey and Pidel until they were too close for him to do anything but pull his weapon and shoot Harvey.

      But even that won’t fly because even if this BS about rumble strips and flat tires was true (perhaps believable if coming from a 90 yr. old driver), it wouldn’t take but 15-20 seconds to check out the car, yet it would have taken Harvey much longer than that to traverse the 150 feet distance he travelled before he was shot.

      So Walker put a blindfold on, stood there enjoying the breeze while his wife said nothing to him?

      The bottom line is that Walker or his wife would have called 9-1-1 while still moving if he was actually frightened.

      Walker’s story changes between what he said to 9-1-1 vs. what he told the cops on the scene and other factors make this look more and more like a deliberate shooting, premeditated during the driving phase of the incident, probably because Walker was enraged at Harvey’s repeated use of the enword.

      In this day and age, with the media successes in destroying people and their livelihoods/careers over the use of the enword, no matter how long ago nor in what context it occurred, and with Eric Holder’s race policies and obastard stoking the fires, it’s not all that surprising for somebody in a fit of rage to believe or assume that use of the enword justifies 1st degree murder – even a not-so-bright investigator with a prosecutor’s office. If Walker was an AA hire (don’t know if he was or not), that could also subconsciously contribute to a disproportionate response to racial epithets.

    Phillep Harding in reply to JackRussellTerrierist. | March 14, 2014 at 1:48 pm

    We have to keep “tactical wisdom” and “legally acceptable” separate.

    They are not always on speaking terms.

Walker said too much.
Build a narrative but keep it simple. I stopped the car to check for tire damage. Did not see them coming I had to defend myself and family. I shot him. I am sorry, I don’t want to say anymore until I have an attorney.

MouseTheLuckyDog | March 14, 2014 at 2:40 am

A suggestion for the defense team.
Have two guys visit the scene. One with something plainly visible like a golf flag. He should stand where the Accord stopped. The second person should take a picture around where Walker stood.

This may or may not help.

—————————-
To everyone else. The highway structures like this that I have encountered are generally not flat. The layout might have been such that Harvey was not visible the whole time he approached.

    tom swift in reply to MouseTheLuckyDog. | March 14, 2014 at 3:05 am

    This looks like the place –

    https://www.google.com/maps/@39.069398,-76.637232,3a,75y,90t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1s7BDSDAXgdb0Rf6gdgZPq9Q!2e0

    The ramp from 3 N to 97 N. A nice, flat, clear, boring American highway.

      Baker in reply to tom swift. | March 14, 2014 at 3:21 am

      You are right on top of it. Also, consider looking back up the road. Specifically check out the potential avenue of retreat by backing up. Based on the time of day and the time of year there should have been a minimum of 1 hour prior to dusk and their is not mention of rain or inclement weather of any type in any document I’ve seen. It a little hard to tell exactly how level the road is but it may have a downward drop of around 1% as it looks as though it drops just a bit and I-97 rises a bit for the actual merger.

      MouseTheLuckyDog in reply to tom swift. | March 14, 2014 at 3:25 am

      Thanks. Saves me the trouble of looking it up and I would probably have gotten it wrong anyway. It’s flat but there is a curve ahead. If you move the perspective a little forward and to the right and it’s possible that Harvey pulled over out of sight. The trees would have blocked sight of his approach for a while too. But then again I’m lous at judging distances.

        MouseTheLuckyDog in reply to MouseTheLuckyDog. | March 14, 2014 at 3:28 am

        *lousy

        Not possible. That link was likely within 50′-100′ of where the Harvey’s car was pulled over. The total transition from Highway 3N to I-97 is probably somewhere over 1,000 ft. The curve you see further down below is where the transition bends for the ramp to actually merge with I-97. It is something like 400+ ft away. By the time you get to where trees would block the vision you would actually be on I-97 and the recognition issue would be distance.

        You can check out the area on the map image in the post. Look how long the white block is. Andrew has the site marked on that ramp about half way down. Now go find a car on I-97 from the image. Imagine how many 18-20 foot car lengths you could put down the length of that white block.

        Also the witness in Exhibit B said he saw Harvey and Pidel get out of the car and he was behind Walker at that time. If he could see them I’m sure Walker could.

        JackRussellTerrierist in reply to MouseTheLuckyDog. | March 15, 2014 at 4:57 am

        Walker told dispatch he saw them get out of the car.

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to MouseTheLuckyDog. | March 14, 2014 at 6:52 pm

    You overlook Walker’s differing stories on why he was stopped in the first place. And if Walker was really in fear for his life or safety, he would have had his eyes glued to Harvey’s car.

MouseTheLuckyDog | March 14, 2014 at 3:53 am

On Walker getting ahead of Harvey. Most of the time when I see someone driving erratically, I try to get ahead of them and speed a bit ( OK OK speed a bit more, don’t let the police know ).
My experience being that if I slow down, they will continue to be in front of me being a problem, but passing and speeding they quickly fade away. Of course different situations may call for different approaches. YMMV.

    Phillep Harding in reply to MouseTheLuckyDog. | March 14, 2014 at 2:01 pm

    Police chase videos on TV: If the cops decide they have to make a fugitive crash, one of the cop cars will come up behind and to one side of the rear wheels. Gently swerve into the fugitive to break rear wheel traction. Fugitive in the videos I’ve seen swerves all over and ends up rolling.

    I think I’d want to make sure my car was a /lot/ faster than the other before I let them get behind me.

      JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Phillep Harding. | March 14, 2014 at 7:25 pm

      That’s called a PIT maneuver. It requires two units plus the target vehicle. “Don’t try this at home, kids.” It takes a lot of training and skill to execute and is quite dangerous, obviously more so at higher speeds. It’s sort of the equivalent of kicking both legs out from under someone standing on a cliff.

      If you’re ever going to flee a crime scene :), use a motorcycle – preferably a rice rocket. They’re fast, much more mobile than a car, and the cops aren’t allowed to PIT them.

      Gremlin1974 in reply to Phillep Harding. | March 15, 2014 at 3:25 pm

      Yea, that “genetal swerve” only looks gentle trust me. Not to mention the very next thing that usually happens is that the car you are PIT’ing turns about 90 degrees and you ram them in the side.

Richard Aubrey | March 14, 2014 at 7:39 am

Do we have a trained, experienced LEO lying about the big things, the things witnesses might be able to contradict, the things obvious forensics can contradict?

OTOH, Walker has likely never killed anyone, most particularly after a road rage situation and maybe, 1, he got confused on what had happened as anybody might, or, 2, didn’t know how to lie right.

The painstaking dissection of the affair shown above and in other posts is in no way reflective of what Walker would have been feeling.

One thing we must remember is the evidence, statements, testimony, etc. that we have seen here is only from the exhibits used by the defense to support their motion to dismiss the indictment due to prosecutorial misconduct. The motion claims (in part) that the prosecutor mislead the Grand Jury into the assumption that Walker had made no statement by indicating that the he had not given a statement to the Maryland State Police (MSP)while knowing that Walker had actually given statement(s) to local (county) responding officers at the scene.

Evidently Walker conversed with at least two officers at the scene and this is basically a bullet point summary of just one of those conversations. A close reading of the report seems to indicate that this summary created from an unrecorded MSP interview with one of the responding officers (evidently at least the 3rd officer to arrive if not later.) A recorded interview with one of the initial responding officers is not included in the exhibit so we may yet have another round of Walker statements from the night of the incident.

Pidel mentioned the gun.

Perhaps he mentioned a badge, but I don’t recall. Did he?

In any event, according to Walker at least, he informed Harvey he was LEO prior to the bull rush.

I don’t think the badge issue carries the weight of the gun issue.

If there was a gun shown, then Pidel and Harvey are just the sort of depraved aggressors who would confront an armed man.

The jury will think Pidel a liar if he sticks with the ‘didn’t tell Harvey’ line.

If he retracts the gun bit, then he’s also exposed as a liar.

Either way, the only person who can contradict Walker’s assertion of a bull rush is fatally discredited.

The defense is no doubt gleeful about getting ahold of Pidel on the stand.

They’ll go for the win right there and endlessly complicate all this who pulled over where and so forth stuff until the jury glazes over and doesn’t care.

Exposing the state’s only witness will easily trump inconclusive circumstantial evidence which is subject to interpretation.

    tom swift in reply to bildung. | March 14, 2014 at 4:09 pm

    Pidel and Harvey are just the sort of depraved aggressors who would confront an armed man.

    So far we haven’t seen a shred of evidence supporting any such claim.

    Yes, both Harvey and Pidel were big and imposing. But physical size is not the Mark of the Beast; it doesn’t imply depravity.

    Yes, one gets annoyed when pushed off the road by some idiot driver. No depravity there.

    Yes, even though the details of who did what and when he did it remain unclear, the bumper car adventure was dangerous and ill-considered, and implies poor judgment. But that’s not depravity.

    Yes, one might very well have used The Word when addressing a person of particular minority status. But that’s poor manners, not depravity.

      The “have not seen one shred of evidence” meme seems naively sanguine. One may reject, doubt or mitigate proffered evidence, but defense statements and prosecutorial allegations are “evidence” of sorts, and already exist in enough quantity to paint the decedent as somewhat of a bully.
      If your statement had been “we have not yet seen any acceptable evidence” etc., referring solely to evidence the jurors would be permitted to consider, it would be a fairer statement, IMO.

        tom swift in reply to 49erDweet. | March 14, 2014 at 7:33 pm

        and already exist in enough quantity to paint the decedent as somewhat of a bully.

        I said nothing about bullies. I rejected allegations of depravity. Should some actual evidence of such appear, I reserve the right to draw different conclusions.

      Ragspierre in reply to tom swift. | March 14, 2014 at 5:55 pm

      That Mobius Loop of an endless mash-up of a Matlock episode and a Batman TV segment is A-freaking-mazing.

      This will be vindicated as a “righteous shoot” that will prosper the cause of civil society and truth, light, and the American way…or something.

      Not satisfied to telekinetically diagnosing sociopathic personality disorder via a single data point, Buldung has transcended to moral diagnoses (“depravity” is nothing if not moral, by definition).

      Of course, many of us were trained as young men to be so “depraved” as to advance on armed adversaries we knew to be armed. Mr. cannot be shown to have had any such knowledge.

      And the rules of evidence are notably absent from the Matlock episode Mr. Buldung has running endlessly in his fervid imagination. One of those controls the scope of cross-examination of any witness.

    Gremlin1974 in reply to bildung. | March 15, 2014 at 3:33 pm

    Actually, there is another witness that dispute the “bull rush”. If you remember Mr. B even said that neither Harvey nor Pidel were running, but walking quickly. Also, we still haven’t even seen all of the evidence that is with this motion to dismiss so making conclusive statements at this point is just silly.

“F you n*****” is more than poor manners. IMO, angry racial invective is inherently threatening. I’ve been called many ethnic slurs including the n-word and it definitely did not make me feel safe. It made me feel hated with a target on my back. It’s not something to be taken lightly.

I don’t think people understand how far Harvey pushed the threat level when he starting hurling F-bombs and pejoratives at a black family that he’d just run off the road.

    Baker in reply to gxm17. | March 14, 2014 at 6:13 pm

    I can understand your position about Harvey pushing the perceived threat level but I not yet seen any compelling evidence that Harvey ran anyone or anything off the road other than his own car.

      gxm17 in reply to Baker. | March 14, 2014 at 7:33 pm

      The first diagram (hand drawn over an aerial map) shows Harvey running the Walker family’s van off the road.

      My point is that normally one would expect a driver to make an apology gesture after they’ve unintentionally cut someone off. But Harvey started shouting profanity and racial slurs which makes it appear to be an assault in progress, IMO.

        Baker in reply to gxm17. | March 14, 2014 at 7:48 pm

        I don’t see that as compelling evidence. It does not match up up with any of the other evidence/testimony put forward so far, particularly statements Walker made while on the 911 call.

          JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Baker. | March 14, 2014 at 8:13 pm

          Inconvenient facts bother some people so much they just pretend they don’t exist.

        JackRussellTerrierist in reply to gxm17. | March 14, 2014 at 8:12 pm

        That was Harvey’s story to the cops after he told a completely different version to dispatch. He wasn’t even smart enough to realize how damaging this would be.

        Why are you selectively choosing Walker’s second version rather than his more spontaneous first version? Why do the very conflicting versions not trouble your support of Walker?

          I’m “selecting” Walker’s roadside statement, complete with diagrams, which happens to be the subject of this post.

          My support of Walker is based on my opinion that a man (Harvey) who would harass a family and *allegedly* try to run them off the road is a man who is easily and reasonably viewed as a deadly threat.

          What if the races were reversed? What if it was a white family who had been harassed by large, angry, racist, profanity-spewing black men? I don’t know about you, but my empathy and support would go to the family. The Walkers had a child in the car. I’m having a hard time getting past that to muster any sympathy for Harvey and Pidel. And I think some jurors would too.

          JackRussellTerrierist in reply to JackRussellTerrierist. | March 15, 2014 at 5:16 am

          We’re not really choosing up sides here. We’re discussing witness and participant statements. Harvey is a jerk. We know that. But we don’t shoot people for being a jerk. According to Pidel, Walker participated in escalating the situation by shouting back and forth with Harvey. That is not the expected conduct of a sworn peace officer with some years of experience.

          The issue is did Walker shoot Harvey in cold blood when he could have retreated, starting with calling 9-1-1 which he did not do, or was he really frightened? His actions are that of an angry man, not a frightened man. Walker having a right to be angry about Harvey’s behavior is not in question, nor is Harvey’s right to be mad in question for that matter. It’s the limit to which it was carried through mutual fighting words which included a communication to fight “They were yelling at each. And then THEY were going to fight” is what Pidel said. Then Walker pulls over and stopped rather than retreating. Then we get the fairy tale about the rumble strips, the flat tire inspection, and not seeing Harvey until Harvey was 10′ away, even though he told dispatch they got out of the car and witnesses saw Walker with his arms crossed looking at Harvey as he advanced 150′. None of Walker’s second story is even slightly plausible except to those who wish it was so.

          If it was a righteous, self defense shoot, there would be no reason for walker to give two very differing accounts within minutes of each other.

        Gremlin1974 in reply to gxm17. | March 15, 2014 at 3:38 pm

        That drawing is simply an interpretation of events according to Walker. Pidel tells a different story, so unless there is a witness to what actually happened that isn’t tainted, (Yes, I consider both Pidel and Walkers wife tainted at this point), then who knows.

    tom swift in reply to gxm17. | March 14, 2014 at 7:35 pm

    To be blunt: If Walker shot a man three times simply because he didn’t like something the guy said, I for one hope he burns.

      gxm17 in reply to tom swift. | March 14, 2014 at 9:51 pm

      Where did I say Walker didn’t “like” what Harvey said? Nowhere. I said that what Harvey said could reasonably be considered threatening especially after he tried to run your family off the road. There is a chasm of difference between not “liking” certain words vs. feeling threatened by them.

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to gxm17. | March 14, 2014 at 8:06 pm

    Ridiculous, over-dramatized hogwash.

    Gremlin1974 in reply to gxm17. | March 15, 2014 at 3:36 pm

    So are you suggesting that simply yelling expletives at someone can make shooting them justified? Frankly, your statement is kind of unclear.

    Yes, apparently Harvey was a moronic racist bigot, but that isn’t against the law, just ask the KKK and the Westboro Baptist Church.

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