Man Pleads Guilty in 1976 Murder

Man Pleads Guilty in 1976 Murder

According to the State's Attorney for Frederick County in July of 1976, Raymond Walker, 56, shot and killed William Thompson, the owner of National Trail Liquors.
FREDERICK COUNTY, Md. - In Frederick County, a man pleaded guilty to a murder he committed 37 years ago on Thursday. 

According to the State's Attorney for Frederick County in July of 1976, Raymond Walker, 56, shot and killed William Thompson, the owner of National Trail Liquors. Both Walker and Thompson fired several shots, according to documents. Thompson's daughter and son-in-law were in the apartment over the store and heard the gun shots. They quickly ran down and discovered Thompson semi-conscious with several shots in the abdomen. 

Thompson died shortly after a Frederick Memorial Hospital. Walker was taken to a hospital in Baltimore, where he was treated for multiple gunshots wounds. Maryland State Police arrested Walker at the hospital. 

Walker was tried and convicted in 1977 but in 2012 the Maryland Court of Appeals determined that jury instruction before 1980 caused unfair trials. Prior to 1980, jurors were told to consider both the law and the facts of the case. The statement meant that the court's instruction on the law was advisory only. When Walker was retried, the judge has granted him post-conviction relief, based on the Court of Appeals ruling. 

However Walker confessed during the State's Attorney review of this case. Walker pleaded guilty Thursday to one count murder in the first degree. The court sentenced to Walker to life, suspended all but time served, 37 years, to be followed by five years of unsupervised probation. According to documents, Walker is to have no contact with the victim's family. 


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