HONOLULU (AP) — A former Army medic stationed in Hawaii pleaded guilty Monday to the murder of his wife, about a week before a trial was about to begin in a case involving porn, sex charges and a love triangle.
Michael Walker pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and said he arranged for the woman with whom he was having an affair to kill his wife while he was working in the emergency room at Tripler Army Medical Center in Honolulu so that he would have an alibi.
In 2015, Ailsa Jackson pleaded guilty to murder, describing in court how she stabbed Catherine Walker and then waited a half-hour to make sure she was dead.
After meeting through an online dating site in September 2014, Michael Walker told Jackson he was married and that his “deepest desire” was to have his wife gone, but he couldn’t divorce her, Assistant U.S. Attorney Tom Brady said.
By gone, he meant, “I wanted her dead, ma’am,” he told a judge Monday.
Walker also had other affairs, including with men who paid him for sex, Brady said. Walker told one of the men he had sex with, but didn’t receive money from, that his wife didn’t know he was bisexual and was having affairs with men.
“I just want to be free to live life how I want to,” Walker said in a text message to the man.
Walker told Jackson he couldn’t simply divorce his wife because of financial concerns and stood to receive $400,000 in life insurance, Brady said.
They plotted the killing in emails, during in-person discussions and in text messages where they called each other “daddycakes” and “babygirl,” according to Walker’s plea agreement.
On Nov. 14, 2014, they met in a military reservation’s gym parking lot, where Jackson said she would kill Catherine Walker that night, Brady said, describing how the two came up with a text messaging code to let Jackson know whether she should enter the home through a window or use a key left in the gravel near the back door. If Michael Walker texted, “good,” that would mean use the window and “bad” would mean the key.
Walker texted “bad,” Brady said, and at about midnight Jackson walked to the Walkers’ house at Aliamanu Military Reservation and found the key, Brady said.
Jackson said in court she “went inside and grabbed a knife and went upstairs and stabbed her.”
Walker knew that Jackson was mentally ill and heard voices, Brady said.
Jackson and Walker are scheduled to be sentenced on Feb. 10. She’s expected to be sentenced to 30 to 33 years in prison. Walker is expected to receive a sentence of about 24 to 30 years.
In 2016, a military court found Walker guilty of child pornography charges that surfaced during the murder investigation.
And then in 2017, Walker was convicted of sexually abusing a child, physically assaulting a child, and wrongfully communicating a threat. He was reduced in rank from sergeant to private, sentenced to 10 years confinement, and received a dishonorable discharge, the Army said.
Michael Walker grew up in Bennington, Vermont, while his wife grew up in Albany, New York, her sister Jennifer Plotz said. The couple married in Albany and were active in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Plotz said from Phoenix.
“They went to church together every Sunday,” Plotz said. She declined to discuss the case.
Walker’s attorney, Birney Bervar, said previously his client did have an affair but loved his wife. He said the couple were about to undergo in vitro fertilization after about a decade of trying to have a baby.
AP investigative researcher Randy Herschaft in New York contributed to this report.