DINWIDDIE COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — After days of deliberating, a jury has recommended life in prison for a man convicted of killing a Virginia State trooper on Wednesday in Dinwiddie County.
It’s a case that was three years in the making and a trial that lasted almost four weeks: Russell Brown was convicted of capital murder last week after shooting and killing Master Trooper Junius Walker back in 2013.
After court on Wednesday, Walker’s family says they feel like they’ve gotten and, finally, some sort of closure.
“He will never see the light of day, and that is comforting. He can rot,”said the victim’s wife, Elizabeth Walker.
The late trooper’s daughter, Vera, added, “I think overall this was a win for the Walker family. At minimum, he’ll never be a free man again I think that’s something to come away with.”
Clarissa Owen, the late trooper’s other daughter, said she was disappointed that Brown avoided the death penalty.
“I still feel that for what he did and what was taken from us, his life should have been taken.”
Brown’s defense attorney, Jacqueline Reiner, said Brown was regretful for the whole circumstance.
“I have to say, on behalf of the entire defense team, the whole circumstance is tragic,” Reiner said.
The Walker family said Brown never showed any remorse towards them.
“Absolutely not,” they said. “Absolutely not. The only remorse he had was that his grandfather died while he was locked up.”
Meanwhile, prosecutors say the decision has brought the community some closure.
“Trooper Walker and any law enforcement officer mean so much to the community and represents the community, and so to have the community be able to participate and make the decision about this case was necessary, and important, and so appreciated.”
Prosecutors said in 2013 Brown was smoking marijuana with a rifle when his car broke down on I-85 in Dinwiddie County, moments before trooper Walker arrived on scene to see if Brown was OK.
Dinwiddie County Commonwealth’s Attorney Nelson Fisher said trooper Walker couldn’t even roll down his window to ask if everything was alright before Brown began firing into his car. Walker was able to drive his car into the woods off the shoulder of I-85 where his car caught fire.
Brown eventually caught up to Walker, shooting him several times from the passenger side of Walker’s car. Using a .308 caliber semi-automatic rifle, Brown also fired at Thomas Hales, a truck driver who stopped when he noticed trooper Walker’s car in the woods, as well as another trooper who responded to the scene before taking off his clothes and running into the woods.
This is a developing story. Stay with 8News online and on air for the latest updates.