CLINTON — After thanking the Clinton County Jail administrator and staff as well as the city of Clinton for being kind to his children, a Clinton man was sentenced Tuesday afternoon to two life prison terms in connection with last year’s fatal shootings of his ex-wife and her live-in boyfriend.

In his statement to the court before being sentenced, Maurice Walker Sr. talked about a friend who had committed suicide many years ago, the comfort he received by being involved in prayer groups and Bible study at the jail and the need for pastors and the church community to not forget the men in jail.

“I have not killed anyone,” he said, emphatically stating he was going to prison with clean hands and a clean mind. “I will go to prison hoping to be a blessing to men who don’t know about Christ.”

Walker was convicted May 16 in the deaths of 39-year-old Renee Walker, with whom he had nine children, and her boyfriend, 32-year-old Steven Kersey. Walker was accused of killing the couple on April 12, 2005, in the apartment they shared at 550 Fourth Ave. South after the two came home from their jobs on the same shift at Néstlé-Purina in Clinton.

The prosecution said Walker had created an alibi by stating he was going to Chicago that day to update a passport for business purposes and then claimed to do sightseeing later that night before spending the night at a hotel in Tinley Park, Ill., just south of the city.

Investigators based their case on the belief Walker was not in Chicago at the time of the slayings as he claims, but instead had driven through Chicago to Tinley Park several hours before the deaths, checked in to the Sleep Inn Motel, drove back to Clinton to commit the killings sometime after 10:30 p.m. April 12 and then drove back to the hotel in Tinley Park, arriving there in the early morning hours of April 13.

He returned to Clinton on April 14 by bus, telling some his van had broken down and others that it had burned in Chicago. The van was found burned at 2:30 a.m. April 14 in Chicago. He told investigators later that day his van had broken down and he was to pick it up the next weekend.

Walker maintained he went to Chicago on April 12 to get his passport renewed, tried to visit his ex-in-laws in Chicago who were not home, drove to Tinley Park at 5 p.m. and then came back into Chicago to do some sightseeing that night. He said he was back in the hotel room between midnight and 12:30 a.m. and asleep at 2 a.m. April 13. However, the hotel surveillance tape showed him checking in at 4:12 p.m. April 12, his van leaving the hotel parking lot at 4:50 p.m. that day and shows him coming back through the hotel lobby at 2:30 a.m. April 13.

Police also say a cell phone record indicates Maurice Walker was driving toward the Clinton area around 7:30 p.m. April 12. Clinton County Attorney Mike Wolf said a call at 5:01 p.m. April 12 and another at 5:05 p.m. April 12 show he was moving west along Interstate 80 from Chicago to Clinton at the time and that the timeframe is consistent with the 21/2 hours it would take to travel from Chicago to Clinton.

A murder weapon was not found; however, Walker admitted he owned a Hi-Point .380-caliber gun. He said he transferred it to his ex-wife’s ownership in February 2005. The prosecution team, which also included James Kivi of the Iowa Attorney General’s Office, said evidence showed the two were shot with a Hi-Point .380 semi-automatic pistol, the couple each had been shot at least once with a bullet fired from the same gun, that the gun had jammed and a bent fork at the scene was used as an implement to unclog it, that a spent casing found at Walker’s former home at 220 Fourth Ave. South matched six spent casings found at the murder scene and that the casings had been fired from the same gun.

Investigators also said a dark ski mask found at the murder scene in a silverware drawer linked Maurice Walker to the crime. It was found face down in the drawer and contained spots of Renee Walker’s blood and Maurice Walker’s DNA. A spot near the mouth of the mask had a mixture of Maurice Walker and Renee Walker’s DNA.

Prosecutors also said the motive could have been money, since Maurice Walker carried a $1 million life insurance policy on his ex-wife, from whom he’d been divorced a year at the time of the killings, and also because he did not like Kersey and has said he did not want him around Renee or their nine children.

The case was tried in front of a Scott County jury. The trial was moved to that county after a judge agreed Walker may not have been able to get a fair trial in Clinton County because of pretrial publicity.

The sentences are mandatory under Iowa law; however, Wolf on Tuesday sought to have Walker serve them consecutively, even though in Iowa a life sentence does not end until the convicted person dies. There is no parole available for those convicted of first-degree murder.

“They died a violent death, an undeserved death and an untimely death,” Wolf said, adding that Kersey and Renee Walker died of gun shot wounds to the head as the result of direct contact wounds.

Clinton County District Court Judge James Kelley instead decided the sentences will be served concurrently, saying he saw no need to make them consecutive. He also did not grant Wolf’s request that Walker be ordered to pay $1 million restitution to the estates of Renee Walker and Kersey.

Wolf based his request on the $1 million life insurance policy Walker had taken out on Renee and the extraordinary measures he took in the weeks before her death to make sure it was paid up.

The $1 million life insurance policy “implied that her life was worth $1 million,” said Wolf, who later said Walker will not be able to collect the life insurance money.

While Kelley did not grant that request either, he did order Walker to pay the minimum $150,000 in restitution to each estate as mandated under law.

Kelley also denied Walker’s request to be granted new trial. Walker had sent a letter to Kelley in which he said his court-appointed attorney, Christine Dalton, had not introduced evidence that Walker stated would clear him of the murders. He also wrote he wanted to take the stand during his trial and that his defense attorney did not call any witnesses or himself to the stand in his defense. That portion of the trial lasted only four minutes.

“The Court finds the motion does not raise issues of newly discovered evidence but is more a motion raising issues for appeal,” Kelley ruled.

That is a route Walker immediately took. After sentencing, he turned in paperwork to the judge seeking an appeal. The case now will go to the Iowa Supreme Court for review. Wolf said the high court will take the case because the charges are Class A felonies. Walker also will be represented by an appellate defender. He now will be sent to the Iowa Medical and Classification Center in Oakdale and will be processed into the state prison system. The court also ordered a DNA profile of Walker.

Wolf said he was pleased with the outcome and that he was thankful for the cooperation Clinton County has with the Iowa Attorney General’s Office when prosecuting such cases.

He also said Walker’s comments to the court Tuesday were inappropriate.

“The state has met its burden beyond a reasonable doubt and convinced 12 Scott County jurors that he did commit the acts he is accused of,” Wolf said. “Twelve reasonable people heard all the evidence and determined he was guilty. I think that speaks volumes and speaks for itself.”

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