The Commerce Journal

Local News

June 12, 2007

Adam Ward capital murder trial starts

Jury hears how father found dying son

Prosecutors told jurors in the 354th District Court Monday that Adam Kelly Ward gunned down Commerce Code Enforcement Officer Michael “Pee Wee” Walker in cold blood two years ago.

“He shot him again, and again, and again,” said District Attorney F. Duncan Thomas. “Adam Ward did not stop shooting until the clip was empty.”

Ward’s lead defense counsel, Dennis Davis, said Ward was the product of a “severely disfunctional family” and claimed he was only playing a role in an ongoing conflict between his father and the Commerce city government.

“Adam Ward, through his father Ralph Ward, had been at war with the City of Commerce since before he was born,” Davis told the jury during opening arguments in Ward’s capital murder trial. “On that fateful morning ... the first footsoldier of that war, Michael Walker, died.”

Meanwhile, Walker’s father, Dick Walker, recalled how while serving with the Commerce Emergency Corps he arrived on the scene to find his son near death.

“I dropped to my knees and I told him his dad was here and would take care of him,” the elder Walker said. “I told him I loved him and that he would be all right. He wasn’t.”

Ward, 24, is facing the potential of death by lethal injection, if he is convicted of capital murder. Ward remains in custody at the Hunt County Jail in lieu of $2 million bond. He has pleaded not guilty. The trial is expected to take about three weeks.

Walker was working as a code enforcement officer for the City of Commerce when shortly after 10 a.m. on June 13, 2005, he was taking photos of alleged code violations at the home where Ward lived on Caddo Street.

Thomas said Ward objected and the two argued, with Ward spraying Walker with a hose. Walker called 911 on his cell phone while Ward allegedly ran into the house, grabbed a .45 caliber pistol and two loaded clips. Thomas said Ward returned to the scene and began chasing Walker, shooting him as many as eight times as they ran. Thomas said Ward was attempting to reload the gun before Ralph Ward took the weapon away.

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