Judicial Circuit, Brevard County Case # 03-CF-3250
Sentencing Judge: The Honorable Charles Holcomb
Attorney, Trial: Kenneth Studstill
Attorney, Direct Appeal: Baya Harrison – Private
Attorney, Collateral Appeals: Marie-Louise Samuels Parmer, Maria
Deliberato, & Nathaniel Plucker – CCRC-M
Date of Offense:
Circumstances of Offense:
was convicted and sentenced to death for the drug-related beating,
kidnapping, and murder of David Hamman.
On the evening
of 01/26/03, David Hamman, Leslie Ritter, and Loriann Gibson arrived at
the apartment of Joel Gibson in the city of Palm Bay in Brevard County,
Florida. Already inside were Gibson, Walker, and his girlfriend, Leigh
following the arrival, Walker and Ford attacked Hamman beating him with
various objects including a metal Maglite flashlight and a blackjack.
Suspecting Hamman to be a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agent,
the couple forced Hamman and his companions to strip off their clothes
in order to search for wires.
search, Ritter and Loriann Gibson were confined to the back bedroom and
Walker and Ford continued the attack, which lasted two to three hours.
midnight, Hamman escaped the apartment and ran a short distance down the
road before being caught by Walker and Ford. The couple laid a tarp in
the trunk of Ford’s car and forced Hamman to get in.
separately, Ford in her car and Walker in Hamman’s pickup truck, the
couple reconvened at the Tom Lawton Recreation Area, a state park. Upon
arrival, Hamman was forced, hands bound, to lie down with his back to
the ground. Walker then shot Hamman six times in the face with a Llama
to the apartment, Walker asked Loriann Gibson and Ritter to drive him to
Georgia in Hamman’s truck. They acquiesced, driving him as far as Live
Oak, Florida, before leaving him at a gas station when he exited the
vehicle to purchase a map.
The two women
then alerted a law enforcement officer of the events that had transpired
the night before. Walker’s description was released and he was
apprehended that morning at the Live Oak bus station.
recorded confession of shooting Hamman was played for the jury at
trial. Loriann Gibson and Leslie Ritter also provided testimony in
Leigh Ford, convicted of
First-Degree Murder, Kidnapping, and Aggravated Battery with a Deadly
Weapon, is currently serving two life sentences and a 15-year sentence.
bipolar, according to the Initial Brief of Appellant.
01/28/03 Indicted as follows:
Count I: First-Degree Murder
Count II: Kidnapping
Count III: Aggravated Battery
07/27/04 Jury returned guilty verdicts on all counts of the
07/28/04 Jury recommended death by a vote of 7-5.
12/13/04 Sentenced as follows:
Count I: First-Degree Murder – Death
Count II: Kidnapping – 30 years
III: Aggravated Battery – 15 years
On 01/04/05, Walker filed a direct appeal to the Florida
Supreme Court. In his direct appeal, Walker raised seven issues
pertaining to pretrial motions, the constitutionality of Florida’s death
penalty, circumstantial evidence, the weighing of aggravating and
mitigating factors, and the admission of potentially irrelevant and
prejudicial photographic evidence. The issues were found to have no
merit or not supported by evidence.
The conviction and death sentence were affirmed by the
Florida Supreme Court on 05/03/07. The Mandate was issued 05/25/07.