HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) – In a bid to avoid spending the rest of his life in prison, an Army medic who was accused in the love triangle murder of his wife has pleaded guilty to a lesser charge.
Michael Walker pleaded guilty Monday to second-degree murder in U.S. District Court in Honolulu.
He had been charged with first-degree murder, which carries an automatic sentence of life without parole. By pleading guilty to second-degree murder, he could be eligible to leave prison one day.
Second-degree murder carries a sentence of up to life in prison, with exactly how long he serves determined by the judge at sentencing.
But under a deal with prosecutors, Walker agreed to plead guilty in exchange for the government recommending that he serve 24-30 years behind bars for his wife’s murder.
“This was a horrific crime,” said Kenji Price, Hawaii’s U.S. Attorney. “This is one step in the direction of doing justice. (Catherine Walker’s) family members were consulted in this case. They agreed that this was an appropriate resolution, and their agreement was obviously very critical to our determination to resolve this case by way of a plea agreement.”
Walker’s sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 10.
Walker’s co-defendant, Lisa Jackson, previously admitted to stabbing Walker’s wife to death and will be sentenced on the same day.
Catherine Walker was found dead in her Aliamanu Military Reservation home in 2014.
In December 2015, Jackson admitted she’d broken into the Walker home ― using the key Michael Walker left for her ― and stabbed Catherine Walker over and over again.
Jackson waited 30 minutes and watched Walker take her last breath before leaving.
In a November 2014 interrogation, video of which HNN obtained, Walker admitted to cheating on his wife, but pinned his wife’s murder on Jackson.
“I have a problem. I’m a sex addict,” adding that Jackson threatened his wife’s life.
The investigator asks: “Threatened your wife’s life?”
Walker answers, “Threatened my wife’s life. Because she wanted to be with me and me only. I didn’t think she was going to do it.”
But prosecutors say Walker not only knew what Jackson was planning, but encouraged her to do it.
Walker and Jackson met through an online dating site in September 2014.
Walker told her that he was married and that his “deepest desire” was to have his wife gone, but he couldn’t divorce her, Assistant U.S. Attorney Tom Brady said during a plea hearing for Jackson.
The lovers then discussed Jackson carrying out the killing while Walker was at work so he would have an alibi, Brady said.
And in 2017, he was sentenced to 10 years behind bars for sexually abusing a child, assault and communicating a threat after authorities investigating his wife’s murder found child pornography.