19-year term handed down in drug case

Friday, August 5, 2011

A Lewisburg man found guilty at the end of a jury trial last month was sentenced to almost 20 years in prison on Wednesday.

William Lance Walker, 31, will probably be locked up for more than 20 years because this sentence only starts when he completes the one he's serving now, and he has additional cases pending.

Walker was charged in a five-count indictment with possession of powder cocaine and crack cocaine with intent to sell and deliver, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Circuit Court Judge Robert Crigler merged the delivery counts with the sale counts, and sentenced Walker to 19 years each on counts one and three, to run at the same time. Walker was also sentenced to 11 months and 29 days in jail on the misdemeanor charge of possession of drug paraphernalia.

"Even penitentiary has not deterred him," Crigler commented, at the end of a sentencing hearing that took up most of the court's time Wednesday.

Walker was represented at trial by LaShawn Williams of Memphis and Rhonda Hooks of Mt. Pleasant. At the hearing they once again advocated vigorously for their client, but nothing could conceal the fact Walker has spent most of his adult life either behind bars or engaged in criminal activity.

"I can't do nothing else," admitted Walker during his time in the witness' chair. "It's over for me personally.

"I no longer point the finger at my childhood," he continued. Further testimony revealed it was difficult. Walker's father was absent, his stepfather was abusive, and he had disciplinary problems that culminated in his expulsion from Marshall County High School.

Walker has three children, two boys and a girl. The 10-year-old is in foster care because her mother is incarcerated.

"I'm not going to have a major impact on my kids' lives under these circumstances," Walker said. "They'll grow up like me, or worse."

Walker has not given up hope. He told the court he has completed anger management courses and substance abuse programs, and is trying to get admitted to one of the programs that teaches a trade to prisoners. By his own account, he has been a model prisoner, without disciplinary problems.