Man sentenced to 10 years in Richmond woman’s bludgeoning death

Stephon Wallace of Chesterfield County (left) and Mark Sheppard, Jr. (right) were charged with the murder of Shy'nisha Walker.

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – A Richmond man has been sentenced to 10 years in prison in the killing of a 19-year-old woman who was found bludgeoned to death in a driveway.

Mark Sheppard Jr. entered an Alford plea to second-degree murder Thursday in the 2016 death of Shy’nisha Walker of Richmond. Under an Alford plea, defendants do not have to admit guilt, but acknowledge that prosecutors likely have enough evidence to convict.

Prosecutors alleged that Sheppard killed Walker because he feared she would implicate him in a fraud scheme.

Walker’s body was found in Amelia County. She had been bludgeoned in the head with a mallet.

Stephon Wallace of Chesterfield County was also charged in connection with Walker’s murder in May of 2016. Wallace’s trial date has been set for Dec. 7, 2017.

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