Repeat offender gets more jail time

Friday, April 20, 2012

By Karen Hall

Staff Writer

A Lewisburg man - who's been convicted in two recent jury trials - this week had more years added to the time he's already serving behind bars.

William Lance Walker, 32, formerly of Sugar Maple Drive, was sentenced to 12 years by Judge Robert Crigler after a sentencing hearing in Circuit Court Wednesday.

This will be served after the 19-year sentence imposed after Walker's first jury trial, and also after the remainder of a sentence from which Walker was on parole when he committed new crimes.

Assistant District Attorney Eddie Barnard had Crystal Gray, of the Board of Probation and Parole, explain Walker's pre-sentence report, paying particular attention to his criminal record, which includes convictions for at least four crimes of violence, such as aggravated robbery, and five drug cases.

Barnard also reviewed Walker's admitted drug use. At an earlier interview, Walker told Gray he had been using marijuana from the age of 13, cocaine from age 18, Ecstasy and Xanax from age 21, and drinking alcohol since he was 15. The only employment history he has is less than a year at ICP, and five months at the Pulaski Bi-Lo store.

"This man, when he's out of jail, sells drugs," Barnard said. "At age 32, he has less than a year and a half of lawful employment. He's dangerous, and he's a drug dealer. The defense lawyers had nothing to work with."

Barnard reminded the judge that Walker had been tape-recorded by agents of the 17th Judicial District Drug Task Force, boasting that Lewisburg was "his town" as far as drug sales were concerned, and that was less than a month after his release on parole. Testimony at one of his trials revealed that Walker told Agent Tim Miller, assistant director of the 17th JDDTF, that he had been buying about 2.25 ounces of cocaine a week in Nashville and bringing it to Lewisburg to sell.

"He's not a stupid man," Barnard said. "He's smart enough to earn a living, but he chooses to violate the law."

Walker's first jury conviction is already being appealed, so Crigler was willing to postpone sentencing for 120 days "to see the outcome of the appeal." Walker, however, asked to be sentenced immediately.